Anti-Austerity Stike Brings Greece to a Halt

November 7, 2013

Thousands of striking Greek workers marched to parliament in pouring rain on Wednesday to protest against measures imposed by foreign lenders, whose inspectors are in Athens to review the country’s bailout.

The 24-hour general walkout by Greece’s largest public and private sector unions shut schools and disrupted flights but far fewer people took to the streets compared with previous protests as heavy downpours blanketed Athens.

The “troika” of European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund inspectors resumed their latest bailout review on Tuesday.

“Enough is enough, we’ve lost our dignity.” said Fotini Halikiopoulou, a 55-year old public sector employee.

“We’ve sacrificed everything and they (the troika) are not budging an inch.”

School teachers, doctors, municipal and transport workers were among the groups that joined the strike. Air traffic controllers stopped work from 1000 to 1300 GMT and journalists stopped work for five hours.

But the bleak weather and despondency among Greeks inured to protests against the erosion of jobs and benefits meant the marches largely fizzled, with two unions cancelling plans for a coordinated march to parliament because of the rain.

About 15,000 protesters, mainly from the Communist group PAME and leftist parties, rallied at central Syntagma square where police and demonstrators have clashed in the past.

They held banners reading “No more sacrifices” and chanted “Don’t bow down!”

Read More