Greece Gears Up for Another General Strike

Greece’s two largest labor unions, GSEE and ADEDY, representing public and private workers, will lead another 24-hour general strike on Oct. 18, shutting down much of the country for the third time in a month.

The strike and expected protests will occur as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is at a meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels, where had had oped to present a finalized package of $17.45 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes to prime the release of a delayed $38.8 billion installment from international lenders.

Greek workers, pensioners and the poor are furious over another pending wave of austerity measures being prepared by the uneasy coalition government that Samaras’ New Democracy party oversees, along with the PASOK Socialists and Democratic Left, which are balking at some of the toughest conditions, delaying approval from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB.)

Hospital doctors, court officials and journalists walked off the job on Oct. 17 and doctors said they also would not work on the next day. There was a news blackout in Greece because of the journalists strike. A similar action on Sept. 26 was the first time Samaras had faced social unrest since narrowly winning the June 17 election and after he promptly reneged on campaign pledges to hold the line against austerity. There was another strike and protest earlier this month during the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Oct. 9.

Passenger ferries will not be running after the Panhellenic Seamen’s Union (PNO) decided to join the general strike. The PNO is demanding that ferry companies sign a new collective contract with their employees. Public transport will also be disrupted. Trolley buses in Athens will not be in circulation at all, while the metro and the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) will not be running before 9 a.m.

Buses will be in operation between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Taxi drivers will walk off the job between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.Kiosk owners are also striking and flights will also be disrupted as air-traffic controllers will hold a work stoppage from 10 a.m. to 1.p.m.

Greece has been besieged by strikes, protests and riots for more than 2 1/2 years, since the former government of then PASOK leader and Prime Minister George Papandreou asked for a first bailout to prop up the country’s faltering economy. None of the actions have caused the government, including Samaras’, to relent on austerity measures that have worsened a five-year recession, put nearly two million people out of work, closed 68,000 businesses and is shrinking the economy 7 percent.


  1. The government failed by making huge cuts before generating new jobs. It’s common sense that you don’t fire everyone before they have somewhere to go otherwise expect them to rebel. This is what happens when people become dependent on the state rather than themselves – they need the government to fix their problems, and rightfully so because the government put them in that position in the first place.

  2.  “………….put nearly two million people out of work, closed 68,000 businesses and is shrinking the economy 7 percent.”

    So it’s the private sector that is shouldering the burden.

    Correct me if I’ve missed something, but why would the private sector union want to demonstrate shoulder to shoulder with the state sector union? Private sector employees should be furious with the enormous disparity between the treatment of the two sectors.

  3. The government is not to blame nor responsible for fixing their problems. They themselves are chiefly responsible.Those that have learned to depend on the state are parasites trying to throw blame on the government for their own incompetence..

  4. Most of these strike are started up by far leftist elements that abuse the purpose of unions. They think the EU owes them money, other Greeks. and anyone else they can use government to thieve off of. They have no shame whatsoever.

    There is no moment I am more ashamed to be Greek than when I see leftist fanatics out in the streets rioting… for other people to feed them. It amounts to extortion.

  5. “Greek workers, pensioners and the poor are furious over another pending wave of austerity measures being prepared by the uneasy coalition government………….”

    Of course they’re furious, and protest they should, but as sentient human beings why aren’t they also, more constructively, demanding the immediate implementation of the specific reforms, with which we are all familiar, which would eventually enable a reduction in the austerity measures. 

    My favourite reform would be the immediate annulment of immunity from prosecution for politicians, followed by investigations into their illegal activities, followed by mass prosecutions.

  6. For 30 years Greece took EU money and borrowed billions but instead of spending it on development of a strong and dynamic economy to rival northern European states , they instead built a bureaucratic state to ensure the political fortunes of a few select families.. 

    Now they pull the plug overnight and wonder in bemusement why an infantilised populace that has essentially no skills to compete is throwing a tantrum. 

  7. When will someone in power govern for all Greeks and not only for the public servants who are striking… Have a look around their are not alot of private companies wanting to set up in Greece because of this public servant mentality that has been instilled in their minds thinking that it is their right…
    Greece is part of a global economy and needs to start thinking like one..Striking needs to stop and wages are going to fall no matter who is in power…unfortunately..and permanent employment will be a thing of the past…It needs to be abolished..and business hours needs to change to 9 to 5 pm Monday to Friday…and retailers should be allowed to trade 7 days a week…
    Public servant jobs should be given to people on merit not because they voted for New Democracy or Pasok and go through a Human resource department…Those days are over…
    These are the people responsible for Greece’s mess as none of them were doing their jobs properly to serve the public that is why so many private businesses have left Greece..
    It is not something people want to hear…

  8. Greece got what it deserve because Greek people have known this for years but they never took action against corrupt politicians. Now the poor honest Greeks are paying for the mistakes of some crooks and corrupt politicians and their parasites…In Greece, justice is only for the rich and corrupt…


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