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Two-day Greek anti-austerity strike begins

Greek unionized workers kicked off a two-day strike today, in the latest of many actions protesting continued austerity in the wake of eight years of severe recession –and despite forecasts for improvement.

By John Carr

The first to walk off their jobs were journalists, so there’s going to be a news blackout until Thursday morning.  On Wednesday they’re joined by public transport workers and other state employees, which means that Athens’ roads will be clogged with tailbacks as commuters take to their cars.

The latest Greek strike is intended to be a reminder to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who said three months ago that Greece was finally out of its onerous bailout supervision by the EU and International Monetary Fund, and by implication was on its way out of the crisis tunnel.

But few Greeks are buying that narrative yet.  Their distrust is reflected in the opinion polls, where Tsipras is trailing the conservative opposition by around ten points.  He has been dropping hints that pensions might go up slightly next year.  But as today’s strikes show, many people have yet to be convinced that improvement is around the corner.

 

27 November 2018, 17:39