Today, Greece’s major labor unions have announced a 24-hour general strike for November 27 in order to protest against planned layoffs and pension reforms demanded by the country’s international lenders. This will be the first general strike in the country after a period of seven months and it is expected to coincide with a visit by European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) inspectors.
The nationwide strike is organized by private sector employees union GSEE and public sector employees union ADEDY. It is noted that major protests and strikes have declined dramatically in recent months, while the two unions held their last strike in April. According to analysts, frustration and anger over the imposed austerity measures is replaced by an enigmatic mood of despondency and resignation.
Despite what government officials stress, “there is no light at the end of the tunnel for workers and the unemployed,” GSEE General Secretary Nikos Kioutsoukis told Reuters. “We are sending a message to the government, the EU and the IMF: Greek people cannot take it anymore.”
About a quarter of the Greek economy has been wiped out during the last six years of recession, marked by severe wage and pension cuts, while unemployment rate remains high, exceeding 26%. Youth unemployment rate is over 50%.