Greek transport and media workers start week of strikes

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 November, 2012, 3:27am

Public transport and media workers began a week of strikes in Greece yesterday, contesting fresh austerity measures needed for a lifeline from creditors which are due to be presented by the government to parliament.

The metro in Athens was shut and only one tram line circulated yesterday, while taxi drivers halted services, severely disrupting traffic in the capital.

The country was also hit by a media blackout as print, broadcast and electronic media journalists walked out in a 24-hour strike. Service at hospitals was slow as only some employees turned up to work.

The union of the public electricity company DEI meanwhile announced renewable 48-hour strikes from last night.

The walkout is expected to intensify throughout the country today and tomorrow as public union GSEE and private union Adedy have both called general strikes.

Bus workers are expected to join the stoppage from today, halting public transport services completely in Athens, while ferry lines to surrounding islands would be cut for 48 hours.

A three-hour work stoppage today has also been announced by air traffic controllers.

In addition, unions have planned demonstrations from today in the centre of Athens against the package of €18 billion (HK$177 billion) in cuts and other reforms, which is to be voted on Wednesday by parliament.