11 March, 2010

Yellow Sand and Mountains of Garbage

Two unrelated topics.

This Monday (8 March) yellow sand from Sahara came to Athens.



It looks like an evening shot, but it was just 11 o'clock in the morning. At some points, the sky turned really read and made a strange effect on us.

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For several days, from last Friday I think, there has been no garbage collection in Piraeus and now there are heeps of garbage everywhere.



It is because either garbage collectors or garbage disposers (or both) are doing strike.



There was a fairly long garbage strike in December and also back then Athens and Piraeus were filled with household garbage. The court decided that the strike of garbage disposing personnel is illegal (because of the higiene threat posed to the general public), but it has not effect.

In theory, the people who strike do not get paid for the days they don't work, but I wonder how it works in practice. If they don't work 5 days, it should be a big loss for their monthly pay, and considering the wage level of lower public workers in Greece, it should be really difficult to survive. Are they risking so much to strike? It is a mystery to me.

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Today (11 March) is another big strike day and there is almost no public transport in Athens and Piraeus (Metro No. 1 works from 10-16, but it is not much use to many of us).

sigh...

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