Riot police scuffle with striking school guards in central Athens
Cyclists ride in front of the Adian Gate in central Athens on Sunday Sept. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)
Published Monday, September 16, 2013 7:15AM EDT
ATHENS -- Riot police have scuffled with striking school guards outside a ministry in central Athens, as labour unions gear up for a series of public sector strikes over job cuts.
Local media report Monday at least two demonstrators were transported to hospitals suffering from breathing problems after police used small amounts of pepper spray in an attempt to move protesters away from the Administrative Reform Ministry.
Greece's government has pledged to axe thousands of public sector jobs in an effort to meet conditions of its international bailout. The country has been depending on rescue loans from the International Monetary Fund and other European countries that use the euro currency since May 2010.
School teachers and guards were on strike Monday, while civil servants are to hold a 48-hour strike from Wednesday.