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Greeks say no to EU austerity with general strike

Greeks say no to EU austerity with general strike
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Much of Greece is at a standstill amid a general strike, as many people want to send a clear message to EU leaders saying ‘no’ to further austerity.

The streets of central Athens were quiet on Thursday morning, with workers staying home in response to the 24-hour stoppage called by the two largest unions.

Ships stayed in port, public transport in the capital was disrupted and hospitals started operating on emergency-only, while public offices and many shops remained closed.

Several marches are planned, which are expected to end in demonstrations outside parliament. In the past they have often led to clashes with police and security will be tight.

Greece is planning 11.5 billion euros of cuts to secure its next tranche of bailout aid.

“I’m joining the strikes, I believe these austerity measures are too much for the Greek people to bear, and I think they should have a say in things,” said one Athens resident.

“People are right to be angry, but I don’t know whether this way of protesting is the right one, and whether it will bring results. I have my doubts about that,” said another man.

With Greece due to run out of money next month, the government feels it has little choice but to implement the cuts which include a drastic reduction in welfare and health spending.