Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Greeks walk out in general strike over cuts

Hospitals, transport services and government offices across Greece have been severely affected by a general strike over new austerity measures.

Industrial action began on Tuesday but has now been ramped up nationally by members of the big trade unions.

Ferry services stopped and buses and trains were limited. Flights were also being hit for several hours.

MPs are set to vote on controversial reforms on Thursday that will cut pensions and end tax breaks.

The left-wing Syriza government needs to make further savings before eurozone finance ministers agree to hand over further loan cash as part of its latest bailout deal.
Despite pouring rain, crowds of protesters joined a rally late in the morning in Klafthmonos Square in the centre of Athens. Further rallies were taking part elsewhere in the capital, including one organised by the communist-affiliated PAME union.

A large number of professions were involved in the strike, including the biggest trade unions, the GSEE and ADEDY:

  • Air traffic controllers stopped work for four hours
  • No newspapers were published and news websites and TV channels were also badly hit
  • Doctors and other hospital workers walked out - and hospitals limited services to emergencies only
  • Trains, buses and trams were providing only limited services for some hours of the day
  • Civil servants, court officials and teachers were all involved
  • Police and other security forces were expected to join a protest late in the afternoon
Flight board at Athens Airport
BBC       News.