All-day strike hits public and private sector

Public and private sector workers are participating in a 24-hour strike on Wednesday called by the country?s two major umbrella unions, GSEE and ADEDY.

The industrial action is billed as a means of protest against a fresh series of austerity measures that Greece?s three-party coalition administration is in the process of negotiating with the country?s foreign creditors, the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, collectively known as the troika.

Commuters in the Greek capital are facing a series of public transport service disruptions on Wednesday. Blue buses and trolley buses will be operating from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Piraeus-Kifissia ISAP electric railway and the Athens metro are also operating from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the exception of the latter?s Doukissis Plakentias-Athens International Airport route, which will be suspended. The tram is operating from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Intercity trains, the Proastiakos suburban railway and ferry services will be halted.

In Athens, GSEE and ADEDY are organizing a protest rally at the Pedion tou Areos at 11 a.m. before marching to Syntagma Square, while the Communist Party-affiliated PAME union is holding another rally at Omonia Square. During demonstrations Syntagma and Panepistimio metro stations will be closed, while riot police forces have been ordered not to use tear gas against demonstrators.

Modifications and delays in international and local flight schedules are expected at airports around Greece due to a two-hour work stoppage announced by air traffic control staff from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Participating in the 24-hour strike are public sector workers including tax and customs officers, social security fund workers, municipal, prefecture and public enterprises staff as well as bank employees and lawyers. Shops will be closed until 3 p.m.

Also taking part in the strike are elementary, middle and high-school teachers and university professors, as well as doctors, health care employees and the EKAB ambulance service.

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