01:35 GMT +321 August 2019
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    Communist-affiliated sailors and strike supporters gather on April 10, 2012 in front of a ferry at the port of Piraeus as Greek sailors began a two-day strike against government reforms

    Greek Seamen on 48-Hour Strike Over Planned Pension Reforms

    © AFP 2019 / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI
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    The Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) is on a 48-hour strike, starting Wednesday, to protest pension reforms in Greece.

    ATHENS (Sputnik) Last week, EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici said the government of debt-ridden Greece needed to improve its pension reform plan if it wanted to continue to avail of financial aid programs. On Tuesday, the Greek parliament debated the reforms.

    PNO is calling on all passengers and workers to show understanding and support, "as this fight is not just sailors' business, but the affair of the whole Greek society," according to a statement on its website.

    Fourteen seafarers' unions have decided to participate in a general strike planned for February 4 to escalate the protests against the pension reforms.

    Previous Greek seamen strikes took place on January 20 and 21. In early November, ferry services connecting the islands were suspended for four days.

    Protests against pension reforms and tax hikes are underway across Greece. Farmers have been blocking roads for several hours every day. Rallies are regularly held in Athens, bringing workers, lawyers, doctors, engineers and scientists into the streets.

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