Greece goes into shutdown in protest of austerity measures
Greek media, taxi drivers all halt services
The nation went into a state of national shutdown in protest of austerity measures that has been brought upon by massive debt. Greece's 14,000 taxi cab drivers went into a general strike, stranding many commuters. The national media - print broadcast and electronic media all went dark. Even more dangerous was when work at Grecian hospitals grew slow as many employees failed to show for work.
Unions have planned demonstrations in the center of Athens against the package of $18 billion euros in cuts and other reforms to be put to a vote in parliament this week
Many parts of the country may soon grow dark. The union of the public electricity company DEI meanwhile announced renewable 48-hour strikes. It's not yet known if this would lead to power cuts.
The strikes are only expected to intensify as both the public union GSEE and private union Adedy have both called general strikes.
Bus workers joined the stoppage, completing the public transport shutdown in Athens, while ferry lines to surrounding islands will be cut for 48 hours. The situation will only grow even direr as a three-hour work stoppage has also been announced by air traffic controllers.
Unions have planned demonstrations in the center of Athens against the package of $18 billion euros) in cuts and other reforms to be put to a vote in parliament this week
Daily newspaper Ta Nea noted that the "parliamentarians are faced with an unpleasant job."
Among other factors included in the austerity package are salary and retirement cuts, reductions in civil servant staffing and further labor market deregulation.
Implementing the austerity plan is a precondition for Greece to qualify for a 31.5 billion euro tranche of bailout funds from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. Greece would otherwise face bankruptcy in mid-November.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stressed the importance of approving the package, saying that the country could be forced out of the eurozone if parliament were to veto the measures.
"We must save the country from catastrophe ... If we fail to save the euro nothing will make sense," he said.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Greece, strikes, media, bankruptcy, emergency loan
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