General strike to disrupt services

A 24-hour general strike on Wednesday, the first this year, will disrupt flights and public services, while many modes of transport will be running a limited service in a bid by unions to boost the turnout at protest rallies in central Athens.

Buses, trolley buses, the Proastiakos suburban railway and the national railway will not run at all. The metro will operate normally except for the section between Doukissis Plakentias station and Athens International Airport. The Piraeus-Kifissia electric railway (ISAP) will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tram will run from 6 a.m. to midnight.

The strike will disrupt flights too. A scheduled walkout by air traffic controllers between noon and 4 p.m. will ground incoming and outgoing flights during that time period.

The strike will also affect the public sector, shutting down tax offices and municipalities. Doctors, lawyers and teachers will also walk out and pharmacies will be closed. Gas stations will shut down for the day and a 24-hour strike by journalists will bring a news blackout.

The two unions organizing the strike – the civil servants? union ADEDY and GSEE, which represents the private sector – have planned a joint rally which is to start at Pedion tou Areos park at 11 a.m. and is to be followed by a march to Parliament.

Former leftist leader Alekos Alavanos, on Tuesday called on protesters to stay in Syntagma Square after the rallies, following the example of Egyptian protesters who occupied Cairo?s Tahrir Square for more than two weeks.

Greek protesters should stay at Syntagma ?until the government of [Prime Minister George] Papandreou has gone,? according to a statement by Alavanos?s new movement.

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