A nationwide strike by municipal garbage collectors, launched on June 19, was temporarily suspended on Thursday, June 29, amid health concerns due to increasingly large piles of garbage. Workers have begun to collect the accumulated trash in a cleanup operation expected to take at least four days. The strike is expected to resume, but no start date has been indicated.
A related protest in central Athens is set to be held on Friday, June 30. Due to the tense nature of the situation, violence cannot be ruled out.
The strike was suspended due to health concerns created by the accumulation of garbage amid soaring temperatures, creating breeding grounds for infectious diseases carried by an increased number of rats and stray animals attracted to the garbage.
Municipal workers launched the strike to demand that around 10,000 contract municipal workers be permanently hired by the government, amid concerns over job security as Greece enters its seventh year of austerity measures. Interior Minister Panos Skourletis offered to hire 2500 workers permanently, but this offer was rejected by the municipal workers' union. Talks are still ongoing.
Individuals are advised to avoid protests and monitor developments to the local health situation.