The Greek government has effectively instilled social distancing guidelines in its citizens, who have been ordered to stay home for the past month and a half.
Even today’s May Day protestors in Athens and Thessaloniki got the message and carried out their annual protest while following guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
May Day is a public holiday in Greece and largely celebrated as the official arrival of spring. People in villages make wreaths with flowers and place them on their front doors.
The holiday is also affiliated with labor unions and workers’ rights movements, taking the anniversary of the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago in 1886 when protestors were bombed.
Authorities had pleaded with Greek labor unions to postpone the demonstrations until next week, but they went ahead anyway.
Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias has stressed Greeks will not be able to go on countryside trips as they frequently do. He appealed to trade unions to transfer their usual May Day marches to the first Saturday after lockdown restrictions have been eased.
“We welcome May Day with truly spring weather. Like during Easter, we will spend (the day) differently,” Hardalias said during his daily briefing Thursday. “Either at home, or with a walk near it …. I repeat that trips far from our permanent residence is not allowed. We are not allowed to go to our country home, certainly not to our village.”
Hundreds of demonstrators from the communist party-affiliated PAME Union gathered in the city’s main Syntagma Square outside the parliament building
They carried banners and red flags and most wore masks and gloves. They stood roughly two meters (6.5 feet) apart from each other during the protests.
Will you Support The Pappas Post for as little as the cost of a cup of coffee per month?
Is The Pappas Post worth $5 a month for all of the content you read? On any given month, we publish dozens of articles that educate, inform, entertain, inspire and enrich thousands who read The Pappas Post. I’m asking those who frequent the site to chip in and help keep the quality of our content high — and free. Click here and start your monthly or annual support today. If you choose to pay (a) $5/month or more or (b) $50/year or more then you will be able to browse our site completely ad-free!