GREEK workers held yet another general strike yesterday, protesting against the latest imposition of government cuts to satisfy international creditors linked to the bailout of foreign banks.
Transport, state schools, ferries and national rail services were largely disrupted, while public hospitals operated on emergency staffing.
Private-sector workers were also involved in well-supported strike action for the first time in months.
Tens of thousands of trade unionists marched in demonstrations organised separately by the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) and the Communist Party-linked All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) in Athens, while over 5,000 took to the streets of Thessaloniki and other cities held their own mobilisations.
Seafarers too are involved in rolling 48-hour stoppages that have developed into indefinite strike action, which has become a focus for wider solidarity and there will be a mobilisation in their support today.
Years of recession and austerity have left nearly a quarter of Greeks unemployed, with most no longer receiving any state benefits and a quarter of the economy wiped out.
European Union and International Monetary Fund creditors agreed earlier this week to grant Greece a series of short-term debt relief measures to ease its repayment schedule.
But the “left radical” Syriza government is still working on new measures expected to remove protection for private-sector jobs and distressed mortgage-holders.
Bailout negotiators are expected to return to Athens next week, with agreement possible by the end of the month on terms linked to the next emergency bailout.
“We’ve been at this stage before. Everyone has to stay calm,” said Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos.