General Strike in Greece against Budget Cuts, Privatization

Athens, May 11 (Prensa Latina) Greek trade unions began a 24-hour general strike on Wednesday in response to government plans to tighten the austerity plan imposed one year ago to reduce the budget deficit.

Since early this morning, the strike affected urban transport, maritime and rail connections, air traffic and health and education services.
Public hospitals were operating on an emergency services basis, and urban transportation will began to operate partially to move workers to downtown Athens where demonstrations are planned.

The strike, the second this year, was called by the Confederation of Greek Workers and the Public Workers Union, which together represent 2 million workers nationwid.

The unions are protesting a government plan to raise 23 billion euros by 2015 through the privatization of state companies and the sale of public assets.

The latest proposed measures would cut subsidies and overtime for state workers and reduce the number of temporary workers.

The strike is taking place in a climate of great tension, aggravated by rumors that Greece is negotiating another bailout package, this time for 60 billion euros.

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