FEBRUARY 25, 2010
By SEBASTIAN MOFFETT And COSTAS PARIS
A protester clashes with riot police during Wednesday's demonstrations in Athens. Unions held a 24-hour strike to show opposition to the government's austerity plans.
ATHENS—Tens of thousands of Greeks took to the streets Wednesday as much of the country went on a 24-hour strike against government austerity measures.
Protesters clash with riot police during a demonstration in Athens on Wednesday. Greece ground to a halt as unions staged a one-day general strike and thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to protest austerity measures designed to tame a public debt crisis.
A small group of youths threw Molotov cocktails at police, who responded with tear gas. However, the 20,000 people who filed through downtown Athens—a relatively large crowd for a Greek strike—mostly limited themselves to chanting anti-government slogans.
Public- and private-sector unions called the strike to protest a range of measures aimed at reducing Greece's budget deficit. The government has announced a freeze on civil-service wages, cuts in public-sector entitlements and the closing of tax loopholes for certain professions, including some civil servants. It has also announced a fuel-tax increase.
News Hub: E.U. To Help Greece (02/11/10)News Hub: Greece Debt Hanging Over Global Markets (0/2/1010)News Hub: Solving Greece's Debt Crisis (02/09/10)"There is an all-out war against public servants, those who earn the least," said Spyros Papaspyros president of ADEDY, an umbrella union for public-sector workers. "We will fight to keep the little we have. The government and the EU must understand the crisis must be paid by the rich."