Albanians fired from public jobs on hunger strike

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Associated Press

Posted on May 22, 2014 at 6:11 AM

Updated Thursday, May 22 at 10:34 AM

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Fourteen fired Albanian civil servants have launched a hunger strike outside the government headquarters in protest at what they say is a politically motivated cull of workers.

The five women and nine men erected tents near the government center Wednesday and vowed to starve themselves there indefinitely.

They won backing from the main opposition Democratic Party, which accused the Socialist-led government of firing 7,000 people from public-sector posts since coming to power eight months ago. The government downplayed that figure, saying only 400 had filed official complaints alleging unfair dismissal.

Democratic leader Lulzim Basha said his center-right party plans an anti-government rally Friday near the hunger-strikers' protest camp. The 14 protesters have identified themselves as Democratic Party supporters and say the government is targeting civil servants who support the opposition.

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