Islanders strike over reduced ferry links

Services on the islands of the western Cyclades ground to a halt yesterday as residents joined in a general strike protesting a reduction in ferry links, which they blame for dwindling tourism and a lack of basic provisions. All municipal offices and most businesses on Sifnos, Milos, Kimolos, Serifos and Kythnos were closed, while residents threatened to block access to their ports if the government does not increase weekly ferry connections from Piraeus, which it curbed last October. Since then, most islands have relied on one ferry for thrice-weekly visits. «There is a problem with supplies but the real problem is the blow to tourism,» Serifos Mayor Angeliki Synodinou told Kathimerini. Meanwhile, businessmen on Sifnos said the one ferry serving their island is constantly breaking down.