Conflicts & War

Greece begins nationwide walkout amid soaring inflation

Athens, Nov 9 (EFE).- A nationwide strike began in Greece on Wednesday to demand pay hikes amid rampant inflation that has triggered protests against the country’s conservative prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The 24-hour walkout called by the private and public unions (ADEDY and GSEE) has halted transport services, schools and government offices.

Public transport services in Athens were only operating partially in the morning, while ferries and ships remained docked in the Port of Piraeus.

Airlines canceled domestic and international flights as air traffic controllers joined the strike, one of the biggest in recent years.

Media outlets were also disrupted, except to provide updates on the stoppage and the marches in the Greek capital.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Athens, marching to the central Syntagma Square, where parliament is located, to denounce labor reforms introduced by Mitsotakis after he took office in 2019.

Protesters are asking for higher salaries to “live with dignity” and a reduction in the 24% value added tax (VAT), one of the highest rates in Europe.

“Our country’s workers, both in the public and private sectors, are battling against the high prices that are strangling households and citizens,” ADEDY and GSEE said in a joint statement.

The Greek government has unveiled a series of measures such as aid to help households pay for their electricity bills, price caps on goods, and an increase in the minimum wage, but citizens still believe more action is needed to fix the issue.

School teacher Alpida Myrila told Efe that putting a cap on the price of goods has been a “hoax”, saying that people are suffering in a country that is “sunk in scandals”.

Greece’s minimum wage was increased twice this year to 713 euros a month, which is still seen as insufficient when a liter of gasoline has exceeded the threshold of two euros.

All of the country’s left-wing parties (Syriza, Pasok, KKE, and MeRA25) have joined the protests in Athens.EFE


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