Greece’s broadcast and print media embarked on a 24-hour strike to protest against wage cuts and layoffs amid the debt-ridden country's new austerity drive.
Hundreds of journalists, technicians and other press employees turned out at a demonstration in central Athens, carrying banners and decrying the "mediaeval conditions" in the news sector.
"We were asked to sign contracts with a 25-percent salary reduction, which nullifies the collective agreement," said technician Fotini Karagoussi, who has been working for the private radio channel Alpha for 13 years.
"Alpha staffing now stands at 30 people, compared to 130 five years ago," she added.
Dimitri Trimis, the head of the union of Athens daily newspaper staff (Esiea), said the sector had been struck by "a new attack against journalists' rights, which threatens democracy."
This isn’t the first time that Greek journalists have gone on striket. Earlier in May, the country’s media industry was brought to a halt when there was no news broadcast or newspapers published for 24 hours to make a statement that the government has to sign new wage contracts that comply with the journalists’ demands.
This demonstration follows a wave of strikes this month by professionals of all stripes, doctors, judges, professors, police officers, firemen, soldiers, and others ahead of a 24-hour general strike planned for Wednesday by the country's two main labour unions.
More than 4,000 journalists have lost their jobs since the debt crisis began in 2010 and some salaries have been cut by 20 to 30 per cent.
Source: DCMF, AFP