Business, Finance & Economics

Greece hit by fresh 24-hour general strike


Passengers walk in the departure hall of Athens' International airport during a 24 hour-general strike on October 5, 2011.



Greece has begun a 24-hour general strike in protest at the government's deeper austerity cuts to avoid a state default.

The BBC reported that both civil servants and private sector workers are walking off the job.

Schools will be closed, hospitals will be operating with emergency staff only, and flights, trains and ferry services are being canceled. Museums and archeological sites were also to close.

Wednesday's general strike is the first since the government suspended 30,000 public sector staff last month, and announced an emergency property tax.

Al Jazeera correspondent Jonah Hull, said the strikes come “at an enormous cost”, with one in five people are employed in the Greek public sector.

Ongoing strikes are becoming the norm, and if the Greek public believe the bailouts will work then they wouldn't come out on the streets and strike, the Greek public are against more austerity and taxes.

The plan is designed to help Greece balance its bulging deficit, amid fears that it could default, which would increase the cost of borrowing for other countries in debt.

Greek civil servant and trade unionist Tiana Andreou told the BBC that the Greek people were very angry.

Not only because of the measures that the government's taking but because of the whole situation. Our lives have been ruined. We have decided that we're going to stop this.

Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos, said on Tuesday that the government had enough cash to pay pensions and salaries until mid-November.

EU officials postponed a Greek bailout payment on Tuesday, wreaking further turmoil on financial markets, with the Athens stock exchange hitting an 18-year low.