New strikes in Greece as lawmakers debate new reform batch

New strikes in Greece as lawmakers debate new reform batch

Athenians were without public transport on Monday and services nationwide faced disruptions as Greek labor unions went on strike to protest further creditor-demanded measures due to be voted on in Parliament.

The new reforms include tougher conditions for unions to call strikes, speedier property foreclosures and limitations on family benefits. They are key for Greece to receive further bailout funds. 

The package is expected to be approved late Monday by lawmakers from the governing left-led coalition, although opposition parties have rejected it. 

Labor unions shut down all public transport in the Greek capital, while state-run schools and public hospitals also faced disruptions as teachers and doctors participated in work stoppages.

Dozens of flights were being either rescheduled or cancelled due to a three-hour walk-out by air traffic controllers. 

Unions are planning three separate protest marches in central Athens, starting just after midday and culminating in the evening.

The more than 1,500-page austerity bill is considered to be potentially the last major package of spending cuts and reforms before Greece formally ends its bailout program in August.

The country has depended on emergency loans from three successive bailouts, funded mainly by other eurozone members, since 2010 after it lost the ability to raise money on international bond markets.


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