Athens is once again facing serious travel and business disruptions this week as public and private sector unions strike to protest new government austerity. The budget cuts were prescribed by the EU and IMF.
The streets of Athens were jammed with cars on Tuesday as public transit workers staged a 24-hour strike to protest an upcoming vote on further budget cuts in parliament. These strikes were just a prelude to further strikes on Wednesday by workers in air travel, ferries, schools and hospitals. Bank workers, taxi drivers and journalists also planned strikes at different times in the week.
"We'll continue, they can't stop us," bus workers' union head Nikos Kouloumparitsis told Reuters news agency. "This is now a matter of survival, they are cutting our salaries again."
The strikes are to coincide with a vote by parliament to cap monthly salaries at state-owned enterprises at 4,000 euros, and to reduce salaries over 1,800 euros per month by 10 percent. Top management was excluded from the legislation (!)