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Greek public electricity workers end strike, continue mobilization

By Maria Spiliopoulou

ATHENS, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Greek public electricity corporation DEI-PPC workers ended on Monday a strike over privatization plans for the firm, but continue mobilization, starting with a rally scheduled for Wednesday to coincide with a wider public sector employees protest and the vote on the relevant bill in parliament.

According to political analysts in Athens, the draft law which opens the way for the sale of 30 percent of stakes in the corporation is expected to pass with the backing of the two parties which participate in the conservative-led ruling coalition.

The government argues that DEI's privatization in the framework of the austerity and reform program launched in 2010 to lead Greek economy back to stability and development will benefit consumers.

The workers' trade union GENOP-DEI which had called the strike last Thursday causing short power outages claims that the privatization will harm workers rights and consumers.

They said that regardless of the outcome in parliament the "struggle" to obstruct the privatization will continue.

Likewise, on Wednesday the umbrella labor union of public sector employees ADEDY has called for a strike and demonstration in central Athens against a new round of salary cuts and reforms promoted by the government in return of further international aid under bailout deals signed since 2010.

On the same day, representatives of the so-called "troika" of Greece's creditors ( European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) are due to return to Athens for the next review of Greek economy before the disbursement of more rescue funding to Greece.

Despite a large wave of strikes and protests against austerity and reform over the past four years, Greece has implemented painful measures and achieved remarkable progress in fiscal consolidation to exit the debt crisis, but still has way to go on the reform path, according to officials and analysts.

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