General strike to protest austerity measures

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.

Flights are unlikely to be heavily disrupted.

Buses and the Piraeus-Kifissia electric railway will be operating between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Trolley buses will be running from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The tram will be in service from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The metro will not shut down at all but trains will not run to Athens International Airport. They will stop at Doukissis Plakentias station.

The media held a 24-hour strike on Wednesday and will take part in work stoppage on Thursday to show their support for the protest action.

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.

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