In what promises to be the first round of a new series of confrontations between Greece's trade unions and the government, public and private sector employees went on strike today across the country.
In what promises to be the first round of a new series of confrontations between Greece's trade unions and the government, public and private sector employees went on strike today across the country. Thessaloniki, Greece. 24/02/2010.
The strike action has paralyzed much of the nation's transport network and was accompanied by mass demonstrations in Athens and other major cities. As prime minister Giorgos Papandreou desperately tries to persuade Greece's EU partners that his government can reduce the massive $420 billion public debt burden threatens to destablisise not just Greece but the entire eurozone area.
However, recent government actions to raise revenues and reduce costs have put it on a collision course with trade unions anxious to protect members incomes and jobs. With some of the lowest wages in EU and unemployment rapidly rising labour leaders argue that the cost of country's debt repayments should not be shouldered by the country's poorest.
In Greece's second city between 8,000 and 10,000 marchers took to the streets demanding that the country's rich pay the price for the present crisis. European Union flags were also burnt in protest against the role of Brussels in role in applying austerity measures which threaten to derail the Greek economy and make any possible debt repayment plan even more difficult.