Greek Cafes and restaurants closed their doors on Saturday in protest over a 10-point rise in VAT.
The cash strapped Greek government imposed the huge rise in an attempt to raise 750 million euros over the next year to help pay off a crippling EU/IMF loan and avoid bankruptcy.
For the owners it is the last straw as the worst recession in years continues to eat away at consumer and business confidence.
Ilias Akritidis runs a Taverner in Thessaloniki:
“The crisis has hit us hard. We are more than 35 to 40 per cent down. Over the summer it was worse.”
A record 7,000 police are on the streets in Thessaloniki as Prime Minister Georges Papandreou is in town to make a key economic speech.
In the capital Athens Taxi drivers joined doctors and dentists to demonstrate against government austerity plans.
EU partners are losing patience with the Greek government’s inability to bring its finances under control as unions vow to fight on until the austerity measures are wiped from the statute book.