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Greece orders striking power employees back to work

Greece's government said Saturday it was ordering striking electricity workers back to their posts to ensure a vital public service, after an Athens court ruled their industrial action "illegal".

ATHENS: Greece's government said on Saturday it was ordering striking electricity workers back to their posts to ensure a vital public service, after an Athens court ruled their industrial action "illegal".

The demand sought to end a rolling stoppage launched on Thursday by employees of the state-controlled Public Power Corporation (PPC) in anger at government plans to break up the country's main electricity provider.

"Following the court's decision Friday declaring the strike illegal and abusive and ordering it be ended, the government is proceeding to requisition their services," a government statement said.

The strike has seen one-hour power cuts hit various parts of the mainland. Greece's tourist-filled islands have been unaffected.

Unions are battling plans to break up the PPC by 2015 as part of a privatisation drive linked to the country's economic rescue plan.

The liberalisation of Greece's energy market is a key requirement for continued loan support from the country's creditors, the EU and IMF.

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