General strike against austerity hits Greece
Athens – Greece was hit Wednesday by a fresh 24-hour strike over austerity measures and reforms introduced to tackle the country’s three-year debt crisis.
Protesters marched under heavy rain in front of parliament in central Athens as international auditors continued an assessment of the country’s finances ahead of the release of further international bailout funds this year, Xinhua reported.
The rally, organised by the umbrella unions for civil servants ADEDY and private sector workers GSEE, protested against salary cuts, tax hikes and reforms such as the mobility scheme, which paves the way for the sacking of tens of thousands of civil servants for the first time in over a century.
Civil services and public transport were disrupted as demonstrators took to the streets of Athens and other major cities.
Greece has been kept afloat under multi-billion-dollar bailout agreements with the European Union and International Monetary Fund since 2010. But three years of harsh austerity and six years of deep recession have weighed heavily on the ordinary Greek.
Unemployment rates are at record highs and Greeks are pessimistic about the future, despite government assurances the situation would soon improve.