Parts of Greece were brought to a standstill on Thursday as members of two major unions staged a 24-hour strike.
Tens of thousands of people across all major Greek cities took to the streets, protesting against European Union and International Monetary Fund demands for pension reform and planned layoffs.
Private sector union GSEE has called for fresh demonstrations to take place on December 7, when parliament will vote on next year’s budget.
The union accuses the government of trying to take the labour market back to “medieval times”.
Repeated rounds of austerity have been imposed on the country. Opposition leader Alexis Tsipras believes this approach has hindered, rather than helped Greece.
“Today we can confirm that the ‘obedient student’ approach the Samaras government has followed for the last two and a half years has brought us to a far worse situation than in 2012”, said the Syriza Party leader.
Unemployment in Greece exceeds 25 percent, while joblessness among youth stands at a massive 60 percent.
These are factors playing on the minds of many Greeks, as euronews’ correspondent in Athens explained:
“Although there are signs of growth in the Greek economy, most working people can feel the difference. Their incomes continue to shrink, while unemployment is still sky high. As a result, the anti-austerity movement continues to gain momentum throughout the country.”