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Greek unions on 24-hour strike against austerity

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Greek unions on 24-hour strike against austerity


Greece’s fifth general strike since February is underway as parliament ponders pension reforms aimed at tackling a national debt crisis.

Public and private sector unions are fighting the shake-up which would raise the retirement age, cut benefits and curtail early pensions.

With ports a flashpoint, tourists have been stranded.

At the country’s main port of Piraeus, protester Sotiris Poulikogiannis said: “They want to put us in a straight-jacket, making us work all our lives for nothing so that others can keep their wealth and get very rich at our expense. We don’t accept this. Everyday, we will grow stronger and more aware of how to overturn this situation.”

The overhaul is one of the cornerstones of an austerity programme agreed with the EU and the IMF to put Greece’s derailed finances back on track.

Public transport, schools, hospitals, banks and the media have all been hit by the latest walkout. Dozens of domestic flights have been grounded but international services are unaffected.

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