General strike to shut down Greece on Wednesday [Update]

Public sector workers including tax and customs officers, social security fund workers, employees at municipalities, prefectures and public utilities, state-owned bank workers, merchants, lawyers and a number of private sector workers will be participating in a 24-hour strike on Wednesday called by the country's two biggest umbrella unions, GSEE and ADEDY.

Gas station owners also said that they will remain shut until 3 p.m., while a strike by air traffic controllers will mean interruptions to flights, especially during the midday hours.

Downtown Athens and Thessaloniki are expected to experience serious traffic problems as strikers hold marches to protest a new round of austerity measures that the coalition government is currently negotiating Greece's foreign creditors in order to achieve 11.5 billion euros in savings, mostly by shaving public sector salaries, pensions, benefits and health care spending.

In Athens, GSEE and ADEDY will start its protest at Pedion tou Areos Park in the morning before marching to central Syntagma Square in front of Parliament, while the Communist Party-affiliated union PAME will be holding its own rally at Omonia Square.

Education and health services will also be affected as elementary, middle and high-school teachers walk off the job, along with university professors, as well as doctors and workers at hospitals, medical centers and the ambulance service.

Intercity train, Proastiakos suburban railway and ferry services will be halted, though the ISAP electric railway and the metro will be operating as usual, with the exception of the metro's Doukissis Plakentias - Athens International Airport route, which will be suspended.

Trolley buses and blue buses will be running limited services from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.