Both private and public sector workers in Greece are going on a general strike Wednesday. The two biggest union federations who fight austerity measures, required by the EU and IMF, have called it.
Despite all the austerity measures that have already been implemented over the years, the government is still struggling to keep up with payments. Electricity and transport workers are fighting the privatization of their respective industries. The electricity company is being sold off in piecemeal and 2,000 workers are to be given pink-slips. Schools and hospitals are suffering from shortages.
A 24-hour general strike today, called by Greece’s labor unions to protest the government’s ongoing austerity, is to disrupt public transport and services.
Hospitals will be operating on skeleton staff and public offices will be closed.
Commuters meanwhile will face a headache in Athens and buses and trolley buses will run a restricted service, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., as will the Athens tram.
There will be no trains or suburban railway service and no rail link to Athens International Airport.
Ferries will remain moored and flights will be disrupted between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
On Thursday, there will be no buses or trolley buses and the ISAP electric railway and Athens metro will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The leaders of the unions hope to present the strike as a day of action. They claim that taxation is bad for both the worker and the economy. This is coordinated with the hope of obtaining influence in an upcoming election. It is done with the hope of joining efforts with the strikes in France in order to gain momentum. The people are widely in support of striking as they reject the idea of increased austerity. The Syriza originally promised to cancel the debt but, turned out to be false.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.