Two days of strikes to begin

A number of professionals will walk off the job on Wednesday ahead of a general strike on Thursday as unions step up opposition to the government?s latest austerity measures.

Lawyers, judges and notaries are among those that will go on strike Wednesday to protest the merging of their healthcare funds into the nationwide provider, EOPYY. There will also be a media blackout on Wednesday as the journalists? union has called for a 24-hour stoppage in support of Thursday?s general strike.

The action will peak on Thursday when the umbrella private sector union, GSEE, and the ADEDY civil servants? union have called for their members to walk off the job and join a protest rally. It will be the second general strike this month.

State hospital doctors will begin a 48-hour protest on Wednesday, apart from those in Athens, who will hold a work stoppage from noon until 3 p.m. Dentists will also hold a 48-hour strike from Wednesday.

Doctors, dentists, lawyers, notaries and engineers are due to take part in a protest march in central Athens on Wednesday. They are due to meet in front of the Athens Bar Association at 1 p.m. ahead of a march toward the Finance Ministry.

Trolley bus drivers will strike on Thursday, whereas bus drivers will hold work stoppages at the beginning and end of their shifts. This means there will be no buses before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Staff on the Athens metro, the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway and the tram are due to take a decision on whether they will protest on Tuesday.

Employees at the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) have already decided to join Thursday?s strike, meaning that metro trains will not run to Athens International Airport but will stop at Doukissis Plakentias station, regardless of what decision metro workers take. The line from Doukissis Plakentias to the airport is operated by OSE. It was not clear last night if air-traffic controllers would also join Thursday?s strike.

Lastly, taxi owners have said they will also withdraw their vehicles from service between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday.

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