Pharmacies closed on Monday, Tuesday due to strike

Pharmacies across Greece will begin the week with what they are calling a “warning” strike on Monday and Tuesday, in protest at plans to liberalize their sector.

The Panhellenic Pharmacists’ Union is objecting to measures being urged by the country’s creditors to open up the sector to competition by changing the rules governing where pharmacies can operate and by whom they can be run, as well as freeing up their opening hours.

The union has repeatedly expressed fears that the liberalization of pharmacies will make small businesses owned by individual pharmacists vulnerable to competition from large pharmacy chains.

The union said that the strike on Monday and Tuesday is “just the start” of action against the measures, which also include a contentious plan to allow supermarkets to sell over-the-counter medicines.