Striking dock workers clash with riot police in northern Greece
Jan 15, 2008, 9:45 GMT
Thessaloniki, Greece - Striking Greek dock workers clashed with riot police in the northern port city of Thessaloniki on Tuesday, as the government prepares to sell stakes in the country's two major ports to investors.
Riot police used tear gas on protesting port workers as they tried to force themselves into a building where Merchant Marine Ministry officials were holding a meeting.
The meeting was being held to discuss the share sale proposal, intended to raise funds to decrease public debt.
No one was injured in the confrontation and protestors continued their march towards the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace in the city.
Greek workers at state-controlled Piraeus (OLP) and Thessaloniki (OLTH) ports called the two-day strike on Tuesday for the second consecutive week, preventing cargo ships from unloading and forcing many to dock at other ports in Italy and Spain.
The government, which owns a 70 per cent stake in both ports, has not indicated how much it plans to sell to private investors.
According to reports, China's COSCO Pacific, the world's second- largest shipping company, has shown interest in investing in Greek ports as a foothold in the southeast European market.© 2008 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur