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Subway strike in Athens

Friday, September 02, 2011 - 01:22

Sept. 2 - A 24-hour subway strike hits Athens as anti-austerity protests get back on track after a summer lull. Lily Grimes reports.

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Summer's over and the strikes are back. Greeks take to the streets of Athens, angry once again at government cost-cutting. The authorities plan to merge and streamline public transport in the capital. Employees fear it won't work, and that jobs will go. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS SUBWAY EMPLOYEE, MICHALIS KOTSIRAS, SAYING: "This is not going to be an improvement, this will break up the transport sector and services, it will tear it apart." The government is scrambling to reduce its budget deficit, through a series of cost cutting measures, in exchange for rescue loans from the EU and IMF. Both organisations have criticised the slow pace of reform. Greek officials blame austerity-induced recession. The prime minister will hold a referendum in the autumn on electoral and political changes. But this is likely to develop into a de facto test of support for the government. So for today at least, the stations in Athens are deserted... ... And the roads are jammed. Lily Grimes, Reuters

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Subway strike in Athens

Friday, September 02, 2011 - 01:22