Greece grinds to halt amid mass austerity strike (PHOTOS)
06 November, 2012
A far-reaching national strike against new austerity measures has left Greece paralyzed. Thousands are marching in the streets of Athens in protest against measures that unions say will sink the country’s already-flagging economy.
The 48-hour strikes have brought most of the country to a standstill, shutting down public transport, schools and air traffic control. Hospitals are also working with skeleton crews. Broadcasts and publications were halted until further notice as journalists joined the nationwide strike.
“About 10,000 people on Syntagma square right now. More arriving. All peaceful,” RT correspondent Peter Oliver wrote on Twitter.
Police cordoned off areas around government buildings in Athens in preparation for possible violence. Extra officers were also called for crowd control during the demonstrations.
The protests are expected to continue throughout the week, culminating on Wednesday to coincide with a parliamentary vote on the new austerity measures.
The new round of budget cuts the Greek parliament will vote on Wednesday has enraged a population already exhausted by economic belt-tightening. Athens is currently debating measures that aim to allay bankruptcy through some $17 billion in cuts by 2016.