Greek unions hold general strike against pension reform

ATHENS: Greek unions are holding their second general strike in less than a month on Thursday, this time against a planned social security overhaul that could enforce new pension cuts.

The labour ministry is working on a new system under which state-guaranteed pensions will be reportedly cut by half to a minimum of 384 euros and the rest will depend on a person’s income and years of social security payments.

The strike will shut down public services, trains and shipping while hospitals will operate with emergency staff. Lawyers and teachers are also participating in the walkout. Journalists went on a solidarity strike on Wednesday.

The government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has already been weakened by its decision in July to accept a third EU bailout with strict austerity conditions in order to avoid a Greek exit from the euro. Tsipras’ leftist-nationalist coalition in November saw its parliamentary majority whittled to 153 deputies in the 300-seat parliament after a divisive vote on home foreclosures, another measure demanded by its international creditors.


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