Tens of thousands of Greek workers took part in the latest general strike against the government’s “austerity” – poverty – measures and increased taxes, which have hit pensions and living standards and pushed unemployment to 26 per cent.
The strike had been called by unions representing 2 million of Greece’s 4 million workers and had the stated aim of getting rid of the bailout deal. It shut schools and left hospitals with emergency cover as well as leading to the cancellation of flights and train services.
Emergency legislation has been used to prevent seamen and metro workers from striking. There were demonstrations outside the parliament building in Athens and in Crete and Thessaloniki.
Figures from the Greek Ministry of Health have revealed a 40 per cent rise in suicides in the first part of 2011 when the financial crisis first started to hit. ■