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Second day in the grip of strikes

04 May 2010 / 14:05:25  GRReporter
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From today, Greece is in the throes of strikes which will culminate tomorrow, May 5. From today civil servants union ADEDY starts a 48-hour strike as well as municipal employees who are on strike since yesterday as well and the teaching union, unions of high school teachers and the emergency medical care union. Due to the strike of air dispatchers Olympic Airlines cancelled 78 flights today, and Aegean Airlines 34 flights.

The strike tomorrow will be joined also by the Confederation of Greek Trade Unions GSEE, bank officials, power industry employees and the Federation of Sailors. The country will remain without news tomorrow, because the strike will join the journalists unions of all media. Public transportation in Athens will work only between 10:00AM and 04:00PM to allow citizens to go to the demonstrations in the city center. Demonstrations start at 11:00AM.

Tomorrow across Greece closed will be all stores and outlets. Exemption will be only Athens, where the Union of traders decided not to participate in the strike. Nevertheless, the union recommended that owners of stores and outlets in the center of Athens should close them for the duration of the demonstrations tomorrow. Greek airspace will remain closed from 12:00AM on May 4 to 12:00AM on May 5 because of the air dispatcher’s strike. During this period no flight will arrive or leave from the Greek airport. Anchored in the ports are also all vessels due to the Sailors strike.

Mass protests by Greek unions were unleashed after the announcement on Sunday about the agreement between the Greek Government, International Monetary Fund and the European Commission under which the country will receive financial assistance of €110 million in exchange for painful economic reforms and tighter financial constraints, especially in the public sector. Strikes, however, seriously undermine the confidence that Greece is able to walk the path to financial stabilization, especially outside the country.

Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has warned that Greece is threatened by bankruptcy in January if the country does not adhere to the measures approved by the IMF and the EU. In an interview with Rheinische newspaper financier #1 of Germany said that if any disturbances in financial stabilization program are noticed, cash instalments will stop and Athens will again be running the risk of deferred payment obligations to creditors.

In the same vein is the statement of Tom Byrne, an analyst at credit rating agency Moody's. Before Reuters, he stated that the granted financial assistance does not mean the end of the Greek crisis, because the objective is to reform the country and meet the criteria for financial stability, with which Greece itself has agreed. "Reforms are difficult and we are about to see whether Greece will be able to perform them," he said.

Tags: Greece crisis economy IMF
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