Strike Over Price Hikes Paralyzes Greece

Nov 9, 2022

“We are here today for us, our children, our parents, our brothers. NO to social inequalities. YES to workers,” a civil servant said.

On Wednesday, thousands of protesters staged a 24-hour general strike in Athens and other major Greek cities, calling on the government to cope with inflation.

The strikes, organized by the unions of public and private sectors, brought to a halt services such as schools, hospitals, and media, and also affected public transportation for hours.

Citizens asked for more support to cope with rising inflation which has decreased their purchasing power. Official data showed the country’s annual inflation in September reached 12 percent.

“High prices are strangling households,” read banners raised during the march in front of the parliament building.

“What is happening in our country today is beyond reason… We are suffering,” Apostolis Razis, a private sector employee, said.

“We are here today for us, for our children, parents, brothers and the entire society… NO to social inequalities. YES to workers,” Rena Dakoutrou, a civil servant, said before minor clashes broke out between a group of protesters and police.

Labor unions have requested drastic reductions in energy costs, deeming the state subsidies to date insufficient. They also asked for price caps and lower taxes on basic goods, for households and businesses, as well as a substantial increase in wages and pensions.

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Some US$10 billion in state subsidies to households and businesses have been allocated within a year, according to the finance ministry. The Greek government has recently increased the minimum wage and promised a 7 percent increase in pension next year.

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