Greek metro workers and train drivers have begun the new year with a 24-hour strike over wage cuts.
Average public sector wages are due to be slashed by 20 per cent beginning in the first quarter of 2013.
The industrial action is the latest in a series against measures demanded by Greece’s European Union and IMF lenders as the price of bailout loans to keep the country afloat.
“I think they are right to strike because you can’t equate what they do with the rest of the public sector workers who just sit in an office,” said Stelios Livieratos who is a a retired bookseller. “Their work shifts are exhausting, so the government should treat them differently. So I believe they have every right to strike even if it means the rest of us have a hard time getting around.”
“Nothing ever changes, so don’t fool yourselves. At every year-end, we talk about our hopes for the next year and every year things get worse,” complained retired singer ‘Dikaios’.
Greece’s prime minister has implored everyone to endure the cuts and promised they will be the last but few are convinced in a country where unemployment tops 26 per cent and poverty levels have soared.