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Greek Unions Protesting Rising Prices Hold General Strike

General strike Greece
Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Athens to protest rising prices. Credit: AMNA

Greek unions held a rally in central Athens and other major cities on Wednesday during the general strike in protest against rising prices that have reduced the disposable incomes of workers.

The 24-hour strike has been called by Greece’s umbrella unions ADEDY and GSEE.

As a result, Athens metro, tram, electric railway (ISAP), and suburban railway (proastiakos) services were halted on Wednesday.

There are also no trolleybuses on the designated day while regular buses will hold two 3-hour work stoppages, one scheduled for the beginning of the shift (to 09:00) and another for the end (from 21:00).

Ferries to the Greek islands will remain docked.

Flights at Greek airports on Wednesday will not be affected despite an earlier announcement of air traffic controllers and other staff that they would participate.

The Civil Aviation Service went to court, and it was determined that the 24-hour strike of air traffic controllers, electrical engineers, and telecommunications personnel would be illegal.

Public and private sector unions ADEDY and GSEE have mobilized against the price hikes in energy and food and bread items and demand urgent protection of society and a raise in the minimum wage.

“We will not accept the continuation of huge increases in electricity, oil, gas, bread, and all kinds of public goods so as not to affect the profitability of business conglomerates,” ADEDY said in a statement.

Inflation in Greece is fueled by the Russia-Ukraine conflict

Inflation in Greece jumped to 8 percent in March, according to preliminary data released on Friday by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

The inflation rate in Greece was 7.2 percent in February compared to 6.2 percent in January.

The increases are fueled by the Russia-Ukraine conflict with the cost of Russian energy and Ukrainian grain dramatically spiking. Businesses and households continue to face a massive wave of price increases with the government struggling to reel them in.

According to the February data of the Greek Statistical Agency ELSTAT, Greek inflation is driving electricity prices higher by an astronomical 71.4 percent, with natural gas leading all other forms of energy with a 78.5 percent raise. Prices for fuels and lubricants rose by 23.2 percent while heating oil prices rose by 41.5 percent.

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