Greeks Strike Amid Financial Crisis
They took to the streets of the Greek capital, refusing to pay for the government’s financial crisis.
Members of Greece’s civil servants unions staged a 24-hour strike in opposition to the country’s austerity measures.
Thousands of protesters, among them teachers, air trafffic controllers and health workers, then gathered outside the national parliament.
The government wants to freeze wages and hiring as part of a stimulus package aimed at saving 800 million euros this year.
They also want to raise the age of retirement and hike taxes.
But protesters say the EU-backed tax reforms hurt the poor.
„Who should be making a sacrifice? The people are already making a sacrifice, they do nothing but work. The government makes all the wealth but we get nothing in return, we have no health, no education.“
The walkout grounded flights and halted ferries and trains.
Some public schools were closed and public hospitals were left operating on emergency staff.
Athens International Airport was left deserted apart from a few straggling tourists.
[Gabriella Sombelo, Canadian Tourist]:
„I have to book myself another flight to Canada, and I have to spend 36 hours here, so that’s the strike, really Greek! So, new bed for yesterday and today… it’s a bit frustrating.“
The European Union will hold a special summit on the economy in Brussels on Thursday where it’s due to discuss Greece.
There are talks that the EU could bail out Greece if it shows it’s committed to cleaning up its finances.