Nationwide strike over inflation disrupts transport across Greece

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Ground transportation, air travel and ferry services in Greece have been suspended after the start of a 24-hour nationwide strike due to wage increases.

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Greek workers have launched a 24-hour nationwide strike demanding higher wages to match rising inflation, disrupting ground transportation, flights and ferries.

High energy prices and rising costs of living sparked strikes and protests across Europe this month, including in Germany, France and Spain.

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A nationwide strike in Greece – the second this year organized by private and public sector unions representing more than 2.5 million workers – was expected to culminate in rallies outside Parliament on Wednesday evening.

Ferries were moored at ports, and bus, train and subway shutdowns were expected to cause havoc on travel in the capital.

Some flights were halted as air traffic controllers planned to join the strike between 0800 and 1400 GMT.

Inflation peaks at 12 percent

While the Greek economy is growing nearly twice as fast as the eurozone this year thanks to a recovery in tourism, inflation is close to a 30-year peak of 12 percent, one of the highest among the 19 countries that use the euro.

“Workers… are struggling with inflation suffocating Greek households, with jungle-like labor market conditions, with the burden they have been carrying on their backs for years,” said the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), the main private industry union. .

GSEE said the government “urgently needs to” take action to fight inflation as the high cost of energy and basic commodities eats into people’s disposable income.

Together with the Confederation of Civil Servants (ADEDY), he is demanding an increase in the minimum wage, which currently stands at around 713 euros ($717) a month, and the restoration of collective labor law.

The conservative government has spent more than 9 billion euros ($9 billion) since September 2021 on electricity subsidies and other measures to ease the burden of rising energy and fuel costs on farmers, households and businesses.

He promised to increase pensions next year for the first time since the country’s financial crisis and further raise the minimum wage.

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