Health fears amid Greek rubbish strike
Bags of rubbish and rotting vegetables are piled high on the pavements of Greek capital’s port of Piraeus – signs of a mounting labour dispute fast turning into a public health crisis.
On Monday Pensioner Fotini Papadaki held her nose as she added her own small bag to the mounds.
With rubbish piling up in parts of the city, Athens municipality urged residents not to take out their household waste, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
“It’s deplorable, I understand job worries but taking it out on society … is going too far,” she said.
Around her, early morning commuters dodged past the reeking sacks as garbage collectors and other municipal workers entered the second week of their walkout.
Pedestrians are forced to walk on streets as hills of garbage block pavements because of a municipal workers’ strike. Photo: Getty Images
The strikers fear job losses as Greece wrestles with its seventh year of austerity demanded by international creditors. More specifically, the workers want better terms for short-term staff threatened, they say, by a court order banning extensions to their contracts.
Many residents, battered by the same spending cuts, were sympathetic at the start. But that support has come under strain as the rubbish bags pile up in the baking summer sun.
Across Athens and other cities, residents have reported growing numbers of insects, rats, stray cats and dogs, all of them carriers of infection.
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