With two and a half million members to call on the two Greek unions calling a 48-hour strike, the ADEDY and GSEE, have the power to cause widespread disruption.
That was visible in the streets of Athens which were deserted apart from the protesters.
“We’re opposed to what they’re trying to do to us. We know very well that these measures will be our tombstone. They will have extreme consequences on workers and all social strata,” said one marcher.
Transport is especially badly hit, with flights cancelled and trains and buses disrupted. Doctors, journalists, ambulance drivers, bank employees, even casino workers and actors at a state-run theatre have stopped work to take part in the protests.
“It’s a bit annoying for all the tourists. We come here to sponsor Greece and to get their economy back up again,” said one stranded Belgian holidaymaker.
Ferry stoppages mean Greece’s islands are cut off from the mainland, but if the government fails to muster enough support in parliament, Greece runs the risk of debt default next month, which could plunge Europe and the rest of the world into a new financial crisis.