Athens – Public transport in the Greek capital was severely disrupted on Wednesday and TV and radio news went off-air after unions called a general strike to protest price hikes amid spiralling inflation.
Athens’ normally busy roads were all but empty, with the walkout affecting bus, underground, tram and suburban train services as well as taxis.
Boat services from the mainland to the Ionian Islands and those in the Aegean Sea were also halted by the industrial action.
It is the second such strike in Greece since September.
Energy-linked price hikes, largely fuelled by the ongoing war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, have sent inflation to its highest rate in three decades in Greece.
“The cost of living is untenable,” read a large poster for the country’s biggest union, the GSEE, also calling for salary increases and “social protection for all”.
Several unions have called rallies around the country for later in the day.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ government has announced a 5.5-billion-euro package of aid which includes a 250-euro subsidy to 2.3 million vulnerable citizens in December and an increase in the student housing allowance.
But unions insist on the need for salary rises, not hand-outs, amid double-digit inflation in the last six months which rose to 12 percent in September.