Hundreds in Greece stage strike

Athens (dpa) – Greece’s largest unions launched a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, crippling transport and public services to protest the government’s austerity measures.
In the first nationwide strike since the summer, government offices and public services remained shut and ferries were anchored at ports across Greece, while the walkout also halted train services, closed schools, universities and left hospitals operating with emergency staff only.
Public transport will be disrupted while all flights will be cancelled at airports across the country after air traffic controllers joined the strike.
Workers are protesting salary cuts as well as tax rises and the potential reduction of the minimum wage in the private sector.
Hundreds of protesters continued their blockade of six ministries Wednesday in central Athens response to government plans to fire tens of thousands of civil servants to meet international austerity requirements.
The government is currently winding up negotiations with auditors from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank, known as the troika.
Its members are reviewing reforms to see if Athens qualifies to receive the next 8-billion-euro (10.7 billion dollars) instalment of its 110-billion-euro bailout.
Private and public sector Unions are expected to hold demonstrations in Athens and other major cities across the country later in the day.
The unions have also declared a nationwide strike on October 19.
Author: Christine Pirovolakis