Greece hit by nationwide strike again
Thousands of people took to the streets of Athens and around Greece in support of a nationwide general strike called by all the major Greek unions to protest government austerity measures. Officials have deployed more than 1,700 extra police in order to prevent the violence that plagued the previous three strikes this year.
Ground and sea transport was completely halted on Thursday as the metro, bus and tram system in the capital stopped. No ships sailed from the port of Piraeus, today, either.
Internal flights, run by Olympic Airways, were cancelled. But Greek air traffic controllers did not strike, and international flights left as scheduled, in an effort to not cripple the tourism industry, a mainstay of the Greek economy.
Some secondary schools were open as students sat their final exams, and private banks in Athens also remained open, despite a call by the main bank workers' union to go out on strike.
The strike was called by the unions to protest austerity measures, which in include raising the age for retirement and lowering pension payouts. Parliament will vote on these measures later this month.
The strike has also affected Greek stocks, which fell over three per cent on Thursday.