Nationwide anti-austerity strike by Greek labor unions

By REUTERS
February 20, 2013 16:21

ATHENS - Tens of thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens on Wednesday as part of a nationwide strike against austerity that confined ferries to ports, shut schools and left hospitals with only emergency staff.

Beating drums, blowing whistles and chanting "Robbers, robbers!" more than 60,000 people expressed their anger at wage cuts and tax increases, marching to Parliament in the biggest protest for months over austerity policies required by international lenders.

In the capital, riot police fired tear gas at hooded youths hurling rocks and bottles during a demonstration of mostly students and pensioners, which ended peacefully.

The two biggest labor unions brought much of crisis-hit Greece to a standstill with a 24-hour protest strike against policies which they say deepen the hardship of people struggling through the country's worst peacetime downturn.


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