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Greece forcing end to Athens subway strike

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 24, 2013 at 7:59 a.m.

— Greece’s government announced emergency powers to force striking subway workers back to work Thursday, with those defying it risking arrest. The standoff is the latest stage of a bitter eight-day dispute over austerity measures.

After unions protesting pay cuts had refused to return to work despite a Wednesday night court order demanding they do so, Transport Minister Kostis Hadzidakis announced the government was imposing the civil mobilization measure, under which workers who continue to strike risk a jail term of up to five years.

The metro strike and other public transport stoppages this week have caused rush-hour chaos across Athens and forced many commuters to take taxis or walk to work.

“The unionists have decided to follow a course of blind confrontation as well as adopting unreasonable strike methods,” Hatzidakis said in announcing the measure after a meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

“As a result of their actions, they are causing difficulties for Athens and Athens’ society and they are creating a serious financial problem for the city. ... We can take no other action than to proceed with the measure of (civil) mobilization.”

Under a 2007 law to deal with “peacetime emergencies,” defying a civil mobilization order carries a minimum sentence of three months in prison and a maximum of five years.

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NONSHEEPLE says... January 24, 2013 at 8:35 a.m.

How's that social welfare system working out for ya?? This is what we can expect soon here.

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