ATHENS - Flights were grounded, schools shut and striking Greek workers took to the streets on Wednesday in protest against cuts the government says are needed to save the nation from bankruptcy.
The first nationwide walkout in months marks the start of what labor leaders say is a street campaign to derail emergency austerity steps launched last month by a government that has already imposed two years of tax hikes and wage cuts.
Thousands of state workers, pensioners and students gathered at a central Athens square, beating drums and waving banners reading "Erase the debt!" and "The rich must pay!"
A separate group of thousands of communist-affiliated workers marched into the central Syntagma square, carrying red flags and chanting: "We don't have jobs! We don't have rights! No sacrifice for the bosses!"