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Graffiti in Athens
Graffiti in Athens
Image: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP/Press Association Images

Greek workers begin another general strike

Protests are also planned against the latest round of austerity measures.
Sep 26th 2012, 8:55 AM 2,176 32

WORKERS UNIONS IN Greece have today called the first general strike of workers since the new coalition government took office in June.

Accompanying demonstrations are being planned to protest against a fresh round of austerity measures being implemented as part of promises made to the country’s bailout partners.

Flights will be disrupted, ferries halted and public transport shut down as a result of the walk-out by public service staff. Retailers have also been asked to close their doors.

It will be the third general strike of 2012 as civil servants take the brunt of cuts required to ensure the necessary loans are received from the EU and IMF. The government is currently looking to finalise a package of €11.5 billion in extra cuts.

New taxes are also due to be introduced in early October and the age of retirement will be raised by two years to 67.

“Salaries, pensions and benefits have been cut again and again for 2.5 years and the ‘monster’ of the debt and deficits remains invincible, constantly demanding new sacrifices,” the main unions GSEE and ADEDY – which represent more than half of the country’s workforce –  said in a statement.

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Large numbers of police have been deployed across the capital city of Athens to prevent demonstrations from turning violent, as they often have in the past.

To avoid default, Greece needs the EU and IMF to unlock the next €130 billion tranche of the bailout package next month.

-Additional reporting by AFP, AP

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Sinead O'Carroll


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