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Thursday, January 22, 1998 Published at 18:23 GMT



World: Europe

One-day strike disrupts Athens
image: [ Traffic in Athens ground to a halt during today's strike ]
Traffic in Athens ground to a halt during today's strike

A nationwide strike by public-sector workers in Greece has caused serious disruption to travellers and bank customers.

The General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), the country's biggest labour grouping with about 1m members, called the strike as a protest against a draft tax bill which it says infringes workers' rights.

The bill would reduce unions' role in the running of state-owned firms.

Unionists claimed the strike was an overwhelming success and said they would consider another next week.

"If the government wants a break with the unions, then it shall have it," GSEE president Christos Polyzogopoulos was quoted as saying.

During the 24-hour walkout all public transport was closed, most Olympic Airways flights were grounded and post offices, state television and state banks shut down.

Commuter traffic in Athens was thrown into chaos with journeys taking more than twice the usual time.






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