Greek Workers Strike as Parliament Debates Cuts

Posted November 6th, 2012 at 6:55 am (UTC-5)
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A 48-hour public workers' strike has begun in Greece, as lawmakers discuss a new round of austerity measures required for another infusion of bailout funding from the European Union. It is the third general strike in the past six weeks.

Lawmakers began Tuesday to debate the austerity bill, which includes $17 billion in spending, benefit and pension cuts. Lawmakers are to vote on the measure on Wednesday. If parliament rejects the package, Greece will run out of money by mid-November.

Meanwhile, many taxis, trains, subways, and ships are expected to shut down Tuesday and Wednesday. A number of flights have been canceled because of a strike by air traffic controllers. Schools and government offices are closed and hospitals are operating on emergency staffing.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has said that, if parliament does not pass the measures, the country could be forced out of the eurozone.

Greece is in the fifth year of a recession. More than a quarter of its workforce is unemployed.