UnNews:Massive strike paralyzes Greece

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5 May 2010

Greek-strike1

A massive bolt of lightning struck electricity workers in Greece, killing 25,000 ©CNN

ATHENS, Greece -- Planes stood still and train services ground to a halt Wednesday as a massive bolt of lightning struck municipal electricity workers in Greece, causing public- and private-sector blackouts city wide.

At midnight, about 25,000 power workers who had turned off city electricity in protest over wage cuts, were electrocuted as they gathered at a public square in central Athens. They had planned to march toward the parliament building when they were suddenly killed in a freak storm.

Police deployed about 1,700 officers throughout the capital to maintain order.

The country's parliament is expected to enact emergency measures -- which include voodoo and higher rain taxes -- by the end of Thursday.

The finance ministry said the proposed “lightning bill” goes before a parliamentary committee Friday and will be up for debate by the entire nation the following Monday.

Mean while, about 200,000 protesters representing “People who love light” from the public sector marched past the energy ministry and parliament with candles.

In central Athens, protesters threw plastic bottles and sticks at riot police.

€110 million ($145 million) aid package for Athens was announced Thursday. Soon after, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou announced tough cost-cutting measures to meet European Union and International energy and electricity conditions on the deal.

The package includes a promise by Greece to restart its electricity grid by hiring new workers to replace the dead ones, according to Papaconstantinou.

The measures, he said, were needed for Athens to secure electricity and transport needs.

Greece has a choice between "destruction and survival of Athens, and we have chosen of course to save the city," Papaconstantinou said.

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