Greeks shut airports, services to protest economy


Renee Maltezou
Reuters
February 26, 2009

Greeks disgruntled by their country’s economic woes ramped up protests against the government on Wednesday, shutting down airports and disrupting many public services.

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Public schools and tax offices shut down, and services at ministries and public offices were suspended, as hundreds of workers marched to parliament with banners reading “No to pension reforms, privatisations and job cuts”.

“Government policy … only burdens workers, the unemployed and the poor,” public sector umbrella union ADEDY, which represents 500,000 members, said in a statement.

The strikes are the latest in a wave of protests that have put pressure on Greece’s conservative government, shaken by the worst riots in decades in December and struggling with a sharp economic downturn.

After years of 4 percent growth, Greece is seeing its economy sharply slowing down due to the global financial crisis. Workers accuse the conservative government, clinging to a one-seat majority in parliament, of only helping the rich.

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