ATHENS, Greece – Hundreds of firefighters in uniform have taken to the streets of Athens to protest hiring conditions, saying roughly one third of their jobs are at risk due to hiring restrictions placed on the public sector by Greece's international bailout conditions.
About 1,000 firefighters, some in full rescue gear, chanted "real jobs now" and marched past parliament Wednesday. Many firefighters in Greece are hired on short-term contracts, and protest organizers said 4,000 of Greece's 12,000 firefighters were on five-year contracts expiring Thursday, with scant hope of workers being rehired.
Greece has been relying on billions of euros in rescue loans in three successive bailouts by other eurozone countries since 2010. Its continued problems in meeting all bailout conditions have frequently seen its future in Europe's joint currency brought into question.