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  • Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration marking a 24-hour strike, in Athens.

    Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration marking a 24-hour strike, in Athens. | Photo: Reuters

Published 28 November 2018

Journalists participated in a strike Tuesday ahead of the nationwide shutdown to facilitate media coverage of the wider union withdrawal.

Greece’s largest private sector union, General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), leads a 24-hour strike to protest the government’s austerity measures Wednesday.

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GSEE organized the protest that targets upcoming pension and tax cuts as well as to demand the reversal of labor reforms. The union, which represents more than 80 trade union, is asking that minimum wage be reverted to US$853, which was the figure prior to the recent bailout slash to US$659.

During a protest in one pensioner, George Anagnostopoulos, said: "We are fighting to take back everything that they took from us because we cannot survive any longer. How is it possible that a pensioner cannot buy a single chocolate bar for his grandchild and to (have to) be on the streets every day fighting for what is needed."

The elements of the austerity package have been implemented, gradually, over a period of time, since 2010. Unions have urged the government to repeal several of the measures that were put in place in accordance with bailout stipulations.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras imposed new tax hikes and spending cuts to secure a bailout deal.

"It is common for this government, just like the previous ones, to promise things to workers. But we have the experience and we know that nothing (that is promised) is going to be implemented. That is why we are here today: we are striking and fighting for what we believe is necessary, regardless of what the government promises," Iva Karioti, a bank worker, stated, according to Reuters. 

Journalists participated in a strike Tuesday ahead of the nationwide shutdown to facilitate media coverage of the wider union withdrawal. Newspapers were not printed on Wednesday.

Train and ferry services, and public transport will be disrupted Wednesday due to the strike.

“There will be no metro, train, tram or trolley services in Athens,” the Foreign Office announced.

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