Even Tsipras’ own party -Syriza- is supporting the strike that affects transportation, news services and hospitals.
Greece is experiencing today the first general strike under President Alexis Tsipras, at a time that creditors have returned to Athens to unblock some points of the negotiations for the disbursement of 2 billion euros of the so-called rescue and 10 billion euros for the recapitalization of the banking.
Syriza, the party of Tsipras, has given its support to the strike, claiming that the industrial activity has strengthened the government’s position in negotiations with creditors.
The strike is directed against “the austerity policies of impoverishment and deprivation followed by the government,” according to a statement from the public unions, ADEDY and private unions, GSEE. Although unemployment affects primarily public services, as is the custom in Greece, this time small businesses have also joined them across the country.
From midnight on, the metro has been closed, boats moored in port and trains have stopped running. Buses have begun a strike from midnight to early morning and resumed the strike from this afternoon until midnight strike.
Trams, meanwhile, work for only six hours. Pharmacies and doctors’ offices are closed and hospitals provide only minimal services. Museums and archaeological sites are also closed.
Television and radio programs are only broadcasting reruns and the journalists’ union agreed to only provide information related to the strike. Air traffic cancelations affect only domestic flights, while international ones are operating normally.
Meanwhile, representatives of the so-called “chariot” European Commission, European Central Bank, ESM and IMF International said today that negotiations with the Government will continue to hopefully reach an agreement on the unresolved issues by Monday.
This is mainly to reach a consensus on foreclosures, the bad loan portfolios of banks and installment repayments of debts to the Treasury and Social Security.
An agreement on the first two issues is also essential to unlock the 10 billion euros needed to recapitalize banks.