Strike brings Greece to standstill

Strike brings Greece to standstill
By Euronews
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Greece has ground to a halt as workers walked of their jobs as part of a 24-hour strike that shut down services across the country in protest against years of austerity measures.

Thousands of strikers in Athens marched to parliament and stood outside as lawmakers debated the 2018 budget.

One protestor said it was time to wake up and take to the streets to fight as it was impossible to accept that things would get worse.

"Low wages and redundancies this is our reality." said another protestor. "People and families are left without money, without work. We will not allow it, we will stand up and fight for our rights." State-run hospitals were accepting only emergency cases as medical staff joined in the strike and state schools were closed.

Euronews' correspondent in Greece says the government argues that the economy is already improving and austerity will soon be a thing of the past. But workers and the unemployed claim they are the losers in the country's crisis and will never regain what they have lost.

Greece has been dependent on bailouts since 2010.

In return for billions of euros in emergency loans, successive governments have had to impose stringent spending cuts, tax hikes and structural reforms.

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