Capital set to come to a standstill

Athens is set to grind to a halt tomorrow and Thursday as two 24-hour strikes paralyze public transport, hospitals, banks, schools and the civil service. Tomorrow’s walkout by the main workers’ union GSEE and Thursday’s strike by staff at public utilities are both in protest at proposed government reforms foreseeing an end to jobs for life for new employees. There will be no public transport on Thursday while tomorrow only the metro and electric railway (ISAP) will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A protest march due to leave Pedion tou Areos at 1 p.m. tomorrow is expected to cause traffic problems in the city center. Workers at hospitals, banks, government offices, schools and private firms will be on strike tomorrow while staff at public utilities are set to walk out on Thursday, too. Air travel will also be affected with limited flights leaving Athens International Airport on both days. The Hellenic Federation of Travel and Tourism Enterprises (HATTA) expressed concern about the impact of strikes on tourism.