Greece’s public sector and a part of private companies came to a halt on Thursday as the country’s largest labor unions held a new 24-hour nationwide strike to protest the latest package of budget cuts currently under discussion in Parliament.

ADEDY and GSEE, the two umbrella unions representing public- and private-sector employees, have called for a rally in central Athens “against the repressive austerity and poverty.”

Doctors and nurses at public hospitals, teachers, municipality workers and bank employees have walked off the job, while transport services, from buses and trains to vessels have been disrupted.

After seven years of deep recession and several rounds of cuts on salaries, pensions and tax increases, protesters said they cannot shoulder more burdens.

According to official statistics, a quarter of the Greek work force suffers from chronic unemployment, a quarter of Greek households are struggling at the threshold of poverty, and the average Greek taxpayer has lost about 40 percent of his income from the start of the debt crisis.

As Greece is still negotiating with international lenders the terms of the next bailout aid, the Left-led government calls on Greek citizens to show more patience, reassuring that the ailing economy is returning to growth and the most vulnerable groups of society will be supported.

Over the past few weeks, Greek seamen and journalists have also been staging strikes demanding better social and job protection by the government. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/


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