Greece was gripped by a 24-hour general strike on Friday with anti-austerity rallies held nationwide to mark Labor Day. Greece
Thousands demonstrators marched in central Athens and other big cities during the nationwide mobilization organized by the two largest labor unions, representing most of the private and public sector workers, GSEE and ADEDY.
In the Greek capital, workers gathered in Klathmonos Square and headed to the Greek parliament in Syntagma Square with anti-austerity slogans in banners that read “Fight with no illusions, no unemployment and no referendums,” claiming the restoration of labor rights and the minimum wage among others.
Public transport services were partially disrupted by work stoppages, Hellenic Railway (OSE) did not run all day and ferries remained tied up at Greece’s ports, as the union of ferry workers (PNO) participated in the general strike.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sent his message for the Labor Day via his account in Twitter stating that “our struggles for consolidation and expansion of our rights, democracy, and a life with dignity will win.”
In the main rally of the two labor unions, many members of the Greek government were present, including Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis who highlighted that the working class was alive and reorganized its voice.
Greek Labor minister Panos Skourletis who also attended the demonstrations, said that the government will not retreat in negotiations with Greece’s creditors from the key demand for an end to austerity policies.
In the last six years of severe debt crisis, the vicious circle of austerity has led labor and social rights in Greece to be completely leveled with wage cuts, thousands of loss jobs and recession.
According to the latest figures from Eurostat, or the European Union’s statistical office, Greece has the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone and the EU reaching up to 25.7 percent.
As the state’s cash reserves are very low, Greek government steps up efforts to secure an agreement with international creditors in order to unlock further vital financial assistance to avoid a default or even an exit from the eurozone. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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