Greece paralysed by nationwide strikes against pension reform

Greeks launched nationwide strikes on Thursday against pension reforms and tax increases demanded by the country's creditors, in what is being seen as the largest such action in years.

The massive general strike was called by both private and public sector unions, and is being joined by Greeks from a wide range of occupations.

Public transport was grinding to a halt, while trains were cancelled and ferries stayed put in harbours, also cutting off the Greek islands from the mainland.

Ministries and schools were closed. Most pharmacies and shops downed their shutters.

Lawyers didn't show up at courts while farmers continued to block key roads. Doctors in state hospitals were only treating emergencies.

Demonstrations were planned later in the day in Athens and other cities. Witnesses said that additional police forces have been deployed in central Athens as the government fears riots.

Greece has been required to implement tough economic reforms in return for international bailouts that have prevented the country from going bankrupt.

One of the creditors' biggest demands under the current rescue package has been a reform of the pension system.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' government is under pressure to implement the measures, which include cuts averaging 15 per cent for new pensions.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49
Author: 

More from Europe

Austrian police question child over teenager's terrorist plot

A child less than 14 years old has been interrogated by Austrian police over its contacts with a 17-year-old who is...

Merkel patiently waiting for White House invitation

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was patiently waiting to be invited for talks with Donald Trump and was unconcerned...

France's remaining left-wing presidential hopefuls shift strategy

France's two remaining hopefuls for the second round vote of the left-wing primaries kicked their campaigns into...

Germany's AfD retain member despite controversial Holocaust comments

Germany's right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party on Monday decided against expelling a prominent member who...

Thousands of historic artefacts seized, 75 arrested in Europol raids

More than 4,000 works of art and archeological objects have been recovered and 75 people arrested in a Europol...