Greece’s largest labor unions, private and public sector workers have started a nationwide strike against the government’s concessions, which have already caused severe pain for the country, in exchange for another bailout package.
The 24-hour walkout will shut down public services, disrupt transportation, with flights cancelled or delayed, and lead to the suspension of ferry services. State-run hospitals are reportedly accepting only emergency cases since their staff have joined the strike.
Greece has been experiencing its own government-debt crisis since late 2009, as a result of the global financial crisis a year earlier. The country has received several bailout payments, provided by the so-called European troika, formed by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In exchange for emergency loans, the Greek government has had to impose stringent spending cuts, increase taxes and introduce structural reforms. Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister, promised to put an end to austerity measures when he came to power in 2015, however he himself has since signed up to a new bailout, necessary to keep the sinking government afloat.