While a general strike rages in Greece the EU/IMF/ECB Troika demands more austerity including a cut in employers social security contributions.
Greek schools shut and transport ground to a halt on Wednesday November 6 as workers held a general strike to protest austerity imposed by foreign lenders, whose inspectors were in Athens to review the country’s performance under its bailout.
“Workers, pensioners and the unemployed are going through an endless nightmare,” port workers said in a statement.
“The government and the troika are destroying this country.”
Unions warned Greece will impose further wage and pension cuts to meet its bailout targets in the coming years to meet EU demands.
The unions are also protesting against planned public sector job cuts and privatisations.
School teachers, doctors, municipal workers, train workers and bus drivers are among the groups that joined the strike. Thousands also march to parliament, where police and protesters have clashed in the past.
“United we can stop them, we can topple them,” public sector union ADEDY said in a statement before the strike.
Greece is in its sixth year of a recession, and repeated rounds of austerity have squeezed households and sent unemployment to record highs of over 27 per cent.
Even the pro-austerity Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s coalition government has rejected further across-the-board wage and pension cuts or tax increases to fill any budget gaps.
“Society cannot take it, the economy cannot take it, and it is not even required by the country’s current financial situation,” Samaras said.