Albanians fired from public jobs end hunger strike

AP News
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Posted: Jun 05, 2014 7:19 AM

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A group of 17 sacked Albanian civil servants has ended a 15-day hunger strike over what they say were politically motivated firings.

Nertila Qafzezi — a spokeswoman for the hunger strikers — cited health reasons for Thursday's decision to end the protest and pack up a tent camp near Prime Minister Edi Rama's office in Tirana. Several were hospitalized during the strike.

Qafzezi said the strike succeeded in raising public awareness of their complaints. The protesters claimed Albania's Socialist-led government sacked them last autumn because they support the main opposition Democratic Party, and wanted their jobs back.

The Democratic Party has accused the government of firing 7,000 public-sector workers after taking power eight months ago. The government downplayed that figure, saying only 400 had filed official complaints alleging unfair dismissal.