Author: Damian Mac Con Uladh
Riot police stop trade unionists handing over food donation intended for struggling Stournaras family
In a symbolic protest, members of the municipal workers union POE-OTA sought to deliver tomatoes, lentils, vinegar, olives, figs, eggs, raki and a chicken to Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, who claimed on television recently that he understood the difficulty people had with living on €500 a month
Municipal workers protest with baskets of food outside the finance ministry in Athens, 17 October 2013 (Reuters)
A senior minister who spoke last week about how members of his family, including his mother, are struggling to live on €500 a month has encouraged trade unionists to collect food for his needy relatives.
In a symbolic protest peppered with irony, members of the municipal workers union POE-OTA brought tomatoes, lentils, vinegar, olives, figs, eggs, raki and a whole chicken to the finance ministry, in the hope that they could hand it over to Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, who claimed on television recently that he understood the difficulty people had in living on €500 a month.
“There are people in my family who live on very little money. My mother, my father-in-law, my mother-in-law … I know very well what it means to live on €500 a month,” he told Mega TV.
After riot police prevented the trade unionists - who were holding posters stating "For Yannis Stournaras' mummy and mummy-in-law, damn it!" - from approaching the ministry, the food was left on nearby Ermou St, the city's main shopping mile, in the hope that the minister could pick it up later.
In a statement released beforehand, the POE-OTA said that it "could not remain indifferent to the plight of Yannis Stournaras' family".
It hoped to "deliver the goods to the finance minister to wholeheartedly express our support to the drama that has befallen his family."
"We believe that Mr Stournaras will appreciate our action," it continued