NEWS

Strike to suspend services on Thursday

Public services are to be paralyzed again on Thursday as thousands of workers walk off the job to protest an ongoing austerity drive in the seventh general strike this year.

As usual, tax offices, courts and schools will shut down, hospitals will operate on emergency staff and customs officials will walk off the job.

The national rail network will suspend operations all day as will the Proastiakos suburban railway service. Ferries too will remain moored in port as seamen join the 24-hour walkout.

It remains unclear if flights will be disrupted tomorrow as air-traffic controllers are due to decide Wednesday on what form their action will take.

The same applies to the unions representing workers on the Athens metro, the Piraeus-Kifissia electric railway (ISAP) and the tram. They are to announce Wednesday how their services will operate on Thursday.

Other modes of transport will offer restricted services — holding work stoppages in the early morning and late at night — to enable demonstrators to attend protest rallies in central Athens. Buses will run between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. and trolley buses from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

There are several protest rallies planned for the center. The main demonstration, organized by the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) and the civil servants? union (ADEDY), is due to start at 11 a.m. at Klafthmonos Square. The umbrella union for the country?s municipal workers (POE-OTA) is to start its rally half an hour earlier at Karaiskaki Square.

Protesters are calling for austerity measures that have been voted through Parliament under the previous Socialist government — including tax hikes, wage cuts and public sector layoffs — to be revoked.