Thursday, October 18, 2012

Greek unions stage general strike

ATHENS -- Members of Greek unions went on a general strike against austerity measures on Thursday while Athens authorities fear unrests.
(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)
Today’s strike is the 20th general strike since the crisis started in the country and it is the second this month.
Lawyers, public notaries, pharmacists, doctors, teachers, flight controllers, taxi drivers, ferry operators and journalists went on strike on Thursday.

The protesters have announced walks and rallies in Athens and towns across the country.

The strike will paralyze public services, road, train, air and ferry traffic. Athens stores will be closed for the day.

The general strike represents a culmination of warning strikes after public service workers Adedy Union and the private sector staff GSEE Union called their members to hold the general strike.

Greece is struggling to stay afloat and it depends on two international loans worth EUR 240bn. In order to receive new loans Greece needs to cut the spending, increase taxes and implement reforms.

Even though the Greek authorities managed to significantly reduce the budget deficit, the austerity measures have sped up recession and the country is on the verge of depression. It is expected that the economic growth will be reduced to one fourth of the 2008 level by the end of the next year. Bearing in mind that every fourth citizen is unemployed, Greece has the biggest unemployment rate in the EU.

“People who receive monthly salaries and pensioners are the only ones that are carrying the burden of the economic crisis while those who do not pay taxes are free of the burden,” the GSEE representatives have stated.

No comments: