Crisis: greece gears up for a week of strikes against cuts

All sectors, public and private, suffering under austerity

24 September, 13:15

Doctors walk underneath a banner with anti-austerity measures, at the entrance of 'Laiko' Hospital, Athens Doctors walk underneath a banner with anti-austerity measures, at the entrance of 'Laiko' Hospital, Athens

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS - Greece gears up for a week of strikes against new austerity measures, enacted to appease the country's international creditors in exchange for a first tranche of 31.5 billion euros in aid.

Journalists led off with a 24-hour strike, which began at 6am on Monday. This comes ahead of a general strike on Wednesday called by the three major unions: the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) representing private sector workers, the Civil Servants' Confederation (ADEDY), and the Communist Party-affiliated All-Workers Militant Front (PAME).

The National Federation of Maritime Workers has also adhered to the strike, which ''is a cry of outrage and despair at everything that is going on'', said GSEE leader Yannis Panagopoulos.

Public sector and state-participated company employees, tax collectors, health and education workers, banks and local autonomous administrations are all participating, as will the nation's judges, who will stop court hearings for five hours.

Greek ships and ferries will remain docked, while railway unions have yet to decide what form their work stoppage will take. Athens subway workers will keep the trains running, however, so that people can get to the demonstrations. The two major ones, both starting at 11am, are in Pedio tu Areos Square (GSEE and ADEDY), and in Omonia Square (PAME).

On the health care front, hardships are ongoing for people who are covered by state-owned health insurer National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY). Tired of waiting for reimbursements that never come, the pharmacists' union has refused to dispense any more medicine until the state pays up.

(ANSAmed).

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