Austerity Outrage Fuels Push for Greek General Strike

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Common Dreams

Austerity Outrage Fuels Push for Greek General Strike

Journalists halt work ahead of planned nation-wide strike against austerity

Cleaning staff take part in a demonstration in Athens against loss of their state-paid jobs. (Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/Getty Images)

Cleaning staff take part in a demonstration in Athens against loss of their state-paid jobs. (Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/Getty Images)

Media outlets in Greece went dark Tuesday as journalists staged a work stoppage ahead of an anti-austerity general strike expected to sweep the country Wednesday.

Journalists from radio, television, and online news, as well as daily newspapers, participated in the Tuesday action against wage theft, firings, slashes to pensions and benefits, and broad austerity measures at the behest of the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Meanwhile, the two most powerful trade unions in Greece — private-sector GSEE and public-sector ADEDY— called on Greek workers to participate in Wednesday's general strike against the Greek government's latest round of punishing government austerity reforms.

Just last week, the Greek parliament agreed to a new wave of austerity — including the firing of 11,000 public sector workers — in exchange for a fresh flow of EU-IMF bailout money.

Four years after the launch of the EU-IMF loan program, Greece faces 27.5 percent unemployment, with 57 percent of people between 15 and 24 out of work. Wages and pensions have been slashed, public services gutted, and inequality and poverty continue to climb.

Workers across industries in Greece are expected to participate in the nation-wide strike Wednesday, including doctors, medical and administrative personnel, railway and bus transport workers, teachers, and court staff. The work stoppage, which follows years of anti-austerity strikes and protests across Greece, is expected to bring some areas of the country to a total standstill.

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