- Title: GREECE-STRIKE/PROTEST Greece paralysed by strike, protests
- Date: 27th November 2014
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (NOVEMBER 27, 2014)(REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS WITH FLAGS AND BANNERS GATHERED FOR RALLY PROTESTERS HOLDING BANNER READING (Greek): "THE PEOPLE WANT THE TROIKA TO GO" VARIOUS OF PROTESTER HOLDING BALLOONS REPORTERS SURROUNDING MAIN OPPOSITION SYRIZA PARTY LEADER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) MAIN OPPOSITION SYRIZA PARTY LEADER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING: "Today, we can confirm that the 'good and obedient student' strategy the Samaras government has followed for the last two and half years has brought us to a far worse situation than we were in 2012." VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS HOLDING BANNER AND BALLOONS, AND CHANTING (Greek): "Venizelos, you're fired, troika, you're fired, make the ministers go into unemployment." (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) PRIVATE SECTOR UNION (GSEE) BOARD MEMBER, THANOS VASILOPOULOS, SAYING: "We are fighting for a change in policies, and for this particular government, which expresses these policies, to leave. Now, today, we have to face the fact that this is the end of the 'success story' fairy tale. The masks are off." VARIOUS OF TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PROTESTERS MARCHING WITH BALLOONS AND BANNERS VARIOUS OF POLICE HOLDING SHIELDS AND WEARING GAS MASKS VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS MARCHING PAST PARLIAMENT
- Embargoed: 12th December 2014 12:00
- Location: Greece
- Country: Greece
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA36UCHD11MXRE9U92MHW9TNYBU
- Story Text: Tens of thousands of Greeks walked off the job and onto the streets on Thursday (November 27) during the first major industrial action in over six months that cancelled flights, shut public offices and disrupted transport.
Private sector union GSEE and its public sector counterpart ADEDY called the walkout to protest against planned layoffs and pension reform demanded by European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders who have bailed out Greece twice.
Main opposition Syriza party leader, Alexis Tsipras, joined the protest and called for elections.
"Today, we can confirm that the 'good and obedient student' strategy the Samaras government has followed for the last two and half years has brought us to a far worse situation than we were in 2012," he said.
Unions oppose plans for more austerity in 2015, after four years of reforms that have already reduced Greeks' standard of living, raised unemployment, and increased poverty.
"We are fighting for a change in policies, and for this particular government, which expresses these policies, to leave. Now, today, we have to face the fact that this is the end of the 'success story' fairy tale. The masks are off," said GSEE board member, Thanos Vasilopoulos.
All Greek domestic and international flights were cancelled after air traffic controllers joined the strike. Buses, trains and ferries also halted services, causing traffic snarls in the capital.
Hospitals worked on emergency staff while tax and other local public offices remained shut as workers marched and chanted, "Troika, you're fired!"
The government acknowledged a risk of delay on Thursday to its planned exit from an EU/IMF bailout by the end of the year, rattling Greek stock and bond markets a day after talks on a bailout review failed to clinch a deal.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has staked his political survival on ending the bailout early.
But Greece is running short of time to reach a deal on its final review by a December 8 deadline after talks in Paris with the European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders ended this week without results.
Asked about the extension, Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos said it could be for "weeks or a few days". Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis also confirmed there could be a delay of a "short period" to the bailout. Neither specified what the technical reasons were.
Samaras is hoping that ditching the unpopular bailout programme will help him win over opposition lawmakers and scrape his government through a presidential vote in February, which could otherwise trigger early elections.
Greek stocks fell 2.6 percent in afternoon trade and Greek 10-year bond yields rose 12 basis points to 8.48 percent.
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