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Metro strike in Athens ends after 10 days

Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:33 PM   |   Comments

ATHENS, Greece, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Athens' metro employees ended a 10-day strike Friday after they were threatened with arrest, Greek officials said.

The metro workers were protesting a public sector unified wage scheme that could see their salaries reduced by as much as 25 percent even though their current contract is not up until April.

The Greek government instituted an emergency civil mobilization order Friday, breaking up a sit-in at a metro train depot in Athens. Hundreds returned to work after being served papers threatening them with dismissal, arrest and trial. The strikers could face criminal charges with a possible five-year prison sentence under the rarely used emergency law, Ekathimerini.com reported Friday.

The public sector wage structure is part of Greece's agreement to make substantial spending cuts in exchange for $315 billion in rescue funds from the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and the European Commission.

"The Greek people have made huge sacrifices and I cannot allow any exceptions," Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said Thursday in reference to the public sector wage structure. "Everyone should understand we will not repeat the mistakes of the past."

Athens trains slowly resumed service Friday afternoon, the BBC said.

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