Hundreds of public servants and government employees staged their first-ever anti-government rally in central Athens on September 13.
GV, SV & LV Police controlling crowd outside Gloria cinema. (3 SHOTS)
GV Cinema interior with crowd, Averoff enters. (2 SHOTS)
TV Averoff meets local dignitaries. (2 SHOTS)
SV/CU Averoff speaks, crowds applaud. (Greek SOT) (4 SHOTS)
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Background: Hundreds of public servants and government employees staged their first-ever anti-government rally in central Athens on September 13. The protest was directed against the tabling of a bill in the Greek parliament which, the workers claimed would reduce their rights and jeopardise jobs in government services. The rally took place in the Gloria cinema opposite the Athens Polytechnic, scene of the 1973 student uprisings which led to the military overthrow of George Papadopoulos. Among the speakers at the protest was the leader of the New Democracy (ND) Party, Evangelos Averoff. A centre-right party, ND is the Socialist Government's main parliamentary opposition. Averoff, once a minister in the government of former prime minister Constantine Karamanlis, drew enthusiastic applause when he denounced the proposed legislation, saying the Prime Minister, Andreas Papandreou, was a "Moscow agent". Since taking power in 1981 with an absolute majority, Papandreou and his Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) have committed themselves to implementing a programme of sweeping reforms. But much of the government's proposed radical "socialisation" of industry and commerce has been modified in the face of widespread opposition.