Thousands of transportation workers strike, protest in Athens against government budget cuts
Thousands of workers went on strike, shutting down many transportation services for 24 hours. The workers are against further government budget cuts, which some fear to lead to 30% unemployment. Al Jazeera has the story:
Thousands of anti-austerity demonstrators took to the streets of Athens on Wednesday as unions staged a general strike to protest the government's spending cuts and tax hikes, which some predict will push unemployment to a stunning 30 percent this year.
The 24-hour walkout disrupted flights, kept ferries and long-distance trains idle and crippled public services.
It was the first general strike of the year, renewing confrontation between labor groups and the conservative-led government that has pursued punishing austerity policies to cut debt, a key condition imposed by international bailout creditors.
State schools and tax offices closed down, public hospitals functioned on emergency staff, court cases were stalled as lawyers walked off the job, and even neighborhood street fruit and vegetable markets were cancelled. Private doctors and dentists also joined the strike.
In Athens, several thousand members of a Communist Party-affiliated labor union marched peacefully towards Parliament, while the main public and private sector unions were planning a separate march later Wednesday.