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Left-wing coalition in Greece backs teachers' strikes

Sept. 14, 2013 at 5:47 PM

ATHENS, Greece, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Greece's conservative government is braced for battle with a coalition backing strikes against cutbacks in exchange for international aid, officials say.

A recent poll showed that SYRIZA, the Greek acronym for the Coalition of the Radical Left -- Unitary Social Front, and the neo-fascist Golden Dawn -- have gained public support, the only parties to have done so, Ekathimerini reported. The Public Issues poll showed about 29 percent of the electorate would support SYRIZA in an immediate election. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's New Democracy was in second place, the choice of 28 percent of respondents.

High school teachers and other school employees plan to begin rolling strikes Monday. They are protesting a plan to cut wages, transfer civil servants and lay some of them off, which has been demanded as a requirement of the next aid installment.

Samaras and his staff have been dismissive of SYRIZA. One aide told Ekathimerini the strikes are a "half-hearted stab at a revolution."

The government is planning to accuse SYRIZA of blocking efforts to carry out necessary economic reforms in Greece, Ekathimerini said.

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