24-hour strike to paralyze capital

Greece’s largest unions will launch a nationwide strike today that is expected to disrupt air travel and public transport, shut state offices and paralyze many key services. The strike has been called by the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) and the Civil Servants’ Union (ADEDY) to demand the return of money lost by pension funds which purchased overpriced bonds. «We want the money to be returned and those responsible to be held accountable,» the unions said in a statement yesterday. State-run Olympic Airlines announced the cancellation of more than 60 domestic and international flights from Athens International Airport and changed the departure times of many others. The Proastiakos suburban railway, the metro and Athens-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) will be shut down completely, while blue buses will only operate between 7.30 a.m. and 10.30 p.m. Trolleys will be pulled off the road between 11.15 a.m. and 3.15 p.m. Major archaeological sites in Athens, including the Acropolis and the Athenian and Roman agoras, will close earlier due to strike-related staff shortages. Demonstrators will gather at the Pedion tou Areos Park at 11 a.m. before marching on to the Economy and Finance Ministry in central Athens. There will also be a media blackout as journalists walk off the job for a second time in just over a week.