Greeks took to the streets on Wednesday to protest against the government's austerity measures during a 24-hour nationwide labor strike called by the country's two largest umbrella federations GSEE and ADEDY representing the private and public sector respectively.
Although turnout for the main strike rally in Athens was relatively small, participation in the strike was extensive, reaching up to 100 percent at the countries refineries, shipyards and ships, 95 percent in ports, 90 percent in construction, 80 percent in banks, and 85 percent in public utilities and state organisations (DEKO), according to the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE).
The main rally, organised jointly by GSEE and the federation of civil servants' unions ADEDY, was held at the Pedion tou Areos Park in downtown Athens, followed by a march to parliament where the GSEE and ADEDY presidiums handed a resolution to the parliament president and representatives of the political parties.
The resolution stressed that the working people, pensioners and unemployed will continue their fight against the policies that bring recession, unemployment, poverty and social exclusion, and demanded that the tax "thieves" pay.
Addressing the rally, GSEE leader Yannis Panagopoulos said a policy is needed that will remedy the injustices, reinforce salaried workers and place greater weight on addressing unemployment, and stimulating development through the creation of jobs "because that is the big problem of the Greek society", while another GSEE official warned that the economy has been plunged into the deepest recession in the post-war period, with unemployment at 18 percent and one million people living on an annual income of less than 6,000 euros and added that political volition was needed to stamp out contribution evasion and tax dodging.