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General strike shuts down services across country

Public transport largely ground to a halt in the Greek capital Wednesday and state-run services remained shuttered as workers walked off the job in a 24-hour general strike to protest rising prices.

The strike left ferries to and from Greek islands tied up in port, and left Athens without a subway, tram, trolley or suburban railway, while buses were to run for 12 hours from 9 a.m.

State-run hospitals were treating emergency cases only as health care workers joined the strike, called by the country’s two main umbrella unions for public and private sector workers, demanding salary increases and measures to tackle rising prices.

More than 10,000 people marched through central Athens in two demonstrations, and about 9,000 protesters held marches in Greece’s second-largest city of Thessaloniki in the north.

“For the last 14 years, workers have been bearing the burden of a deep crisis that affected the income and the lives of everyone,” said the General Confederation of Greek Workers union, known by its acronym GSEE, referring to the Greek financial crisis that started in late 2009 and left the country dependent on international bailouts for a decade.


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