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Friday 13th
posted by Morning Star in World

TENS of thousands of workers across Greece protested yesterday against new EU-dictated austerity measures.

The general strike was called by public-sector union federation Adedy, mainly private-sector grouping GSEE and Communist Party-linked Pame.

Nearly 25,000 people took part in three separate demonstrations in central Athens, according to police figures, to protest against a new round of Brussels-imposed tax rises and savage spending cuts.

Clashes broke out briefly between riot police and youths who broke away from a march as it passed parliament and threw petrol bombs at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

Demonstrators scattered but calm returned within the hour.

Another 10,000 marched without incident through the country’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki.

The Athens underground and suburban railway shut down while bus, tram and train services were reduced and ferries remained tied up in port, severing connections between islands and the mainland. More than a dozen domestic flights were cancelled.

The strike closed museums and archaeological sites, including the Acropolis, as well as schools and pharmacies.

Many shops shut and hospitals were functioning with emergency staff.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s anti-austerity Syriza party, which negotiated the draconian conditions of the latest EU bailout deal, backed the strike.

Journalists also walked off the job, pulling news bulletins off the air except to report on the strike. News websites were not updated and today’s papers were cancelled.