Public transport has largely ground to a halt in the Greek capital and state-run services remained shut as workers walked off the job in a 24-hour general strike to protest rising prices.
The strike left ferries to and from Greek islands tied up in port, and left Athens without a subway, tram, trolley or suburban railway, while buses were to run for 12 hours from 9am.
State-run hospitals were treating emergency cases only as healthcare workers joined the strike, called by the country’s two main umbrella unions for public and private sector workers, demanding salary increases and measures to tackle rising prices.
More than 10,000 people marched through central Athens in two demonstrations, and about 9,000 protesters held marches in Greece’s second-largest city of Thessaloniki in the north.
“For the last 14 years, workers have been bearing the burden of a deep crisis that affected the income and the lives of everyone,” said the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), referring to the Greek financial crisis that started in late 2009 and left the country dependent on international bailouts for a decade.
“The years have passed and the crisis is deepening, the burdens remain, rights are shrinking. We are striking and demanding the government take measures here and now,” GSEE added.
Greece has seen increasing prices, particularly in energy and certain supermarket goods such as flour, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.