Public services in Greece disrupted by widespread strikes

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Protesters take part in a rally during a 24-hour strike in Athens

Widespread strikes in Greece have brought public transport and other services to a halt.

Members of the country’s largest unions have protested against employment reforms they argue will make flexible workplace changes introduced during the pandemic more permanent.

The 24-hour protest also disrupted public hospitals and ferry services to the Greek islands.

Greece’s centre-right government says the draft legislation being debated in parliament will allow greater flexibility within the working week and also modernise regulations to grant new fathers longer paternity leave.

Opponents, including the main left-wing opposition party which is backing the strikes, have accused the government of using lockdowns as a pretext to further erode long-standing working rights and legal protection for employees.

They fear it will allow employers to get out of paying overtime and set schedules that are disruptive to workers’ lives.

Several demonstrations took place in Athens and other cities.

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