Greek civil servants walk off job in 24-hour strike

University students shout slogans as they take part in a rally during a 24-hour strike in Athens, Thursday, Oct. 15. 2020. Greek civil servants have walked off the job in a 24-hour strike with demands including better pay for health and education workers and more hirings during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

Greek civil servants have walked off the job in a 24-hour strike over demands including better pay for health and education workers and more hirings during the coronavirus pandemic

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek civil servants walked off the job in a 24-hour strike Thursday over demands that include better pay for health and education workers and more hiring during the coronavirus pandemic. Limited clashes with police broke out at the end of a protest march in central Athens.

The strike shut down public services across the country, while the participation of air traffic controllers forced airlines to cancel or reschedule flights until 8 a.m. Friday.

Two separate demonstrations were held in central Athens, organized by labor unions. At the end of the main march, youths threw stones and petrol bombs at police, who dispersed them using tear gas and stun grenades. No injuries were reported, while police detained about 10 suspected rioters.

The country’s main civil servants’ union, ADEDY, called the strike over a series of demands, including an increase in health spending, more intensive care unit beds and new permanent hirings in education to allow for school classes to be limited to 15 pupils.

The union also called for the abolition of some taxes for civil servants and a reduction of the consumer tax to 15% from the current 24%, as well as changes to a recent law on demonstrations and a repeal of privatizations.

Greece has been experiencing a resurgence in the coronavirus pandemic that has increased pressure on the health system. The government has increased the number of intensive care unit beds available for coronavirus patients, and has pledged to add more ICU beds overall by the end of the year.

The country of around 11 million people has seen new daily coronavirus cases hovering around the 300 to 400 mark. It currently has a total of 23,495 confirmed cases, with 469 deaths and 86 people intubated in ICUs across Greece.

Protesters take part in a rally during a 24-hour strike in Athens, Thursday, Oct. 15. 2020. Greek civil servants have walked off the job in a 24-hour strike with demands including better pay for health and education workers and more hirings during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

Riot police detain a teenager during minor clashes in Athens, Thursday, Oct. 15. 2020. Greek civil servants have walked off the job in a 24-hour strike with demands including better pay for health and education workers and more hirings during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

University students shout slogans as they take part in a rally during a 24-hour strike in Athens, Thursday, Oct. 15. 2020. Greek civil servants have walked off the job in a 24-hour strike with demands including better pay for health and education workers and more hirings during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

A board shows the cancelled flights as a man walks at the empty Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport during a 24-hour strike in public sector in Athens, Thursday, Oct. 15. 2020. Greece's air traffic electronic engineers and air traffic control personnel, participate in the 24-hour strike organised by civil servant union ADEDY demanding, among other things, better pay for health and education workers and the need for more recruitments of medical workers amidst the pandemic. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

A passenger wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, walks at the empty Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport during a 24-hour strike in public sector in Athens, Thursday, Oct. 15. 2020. Greece's air traffic electronic engineers and air traffic control personnel, participate in the 24-hour strike organised by civil servant union ADEDY demanding, among other things, better pay for health and education workers and the need for more recruitments of medical workers amidst the pandemic. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

A passenger sits at the empty Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport during a 24-hour strike in public sector in Athens, Thursday, Oct. 15. 2020. Greece's air traffic electronic engineers and air traffic control personnel, participate in the 24-hour strike organised by civil servant union ADEDY demanding, among other things, better pay for health and education workers and the need for more recruitments of medical workers amidst the pandemic. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

A passenger wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, walks at the empty Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport during a 24-hour strike in public sector in Athens, Thursday, Oct. 15. 2020. Greece's air traffic electronic engineers and air traffic control personnel, participate in the 24-hour strike organised by civil servant union ADEDY demanding, among other things, better pay for health and education workers and the need for more recruitments of medical workers amidst the pandemic. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

A security walks at the empty Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport during a 24-hour strike in public sector in Athens, Thursday, Oct. 15. 2020. Greece's air traffic electronic engineers and air traffic control personnel, participate in the 24-hour strike organised by civil servant union ADEDY demanding, among other things, better pay for health and education workers and the need for more recruitments of medical workers amidst the pandemic. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis

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