Greece - Demonstration over new budget cuts - journalists on 24-hour strike - January 01, 2017

Thousands of trade unionists demonstrated against planned new cuts demanded by international creditors in a general strike that shut down several key sectors. According to police, some 15,000 people took part in trade union protests in Athens and another 5,000 in Thessaloniki. Civil servants, bank staff, merchant seamen, railway workers and state-employed doctors were among professionals taking part in the 24-hour stoppage against the measures, which are scheduled to be approved by lawmakers. The measures include cutting public spending on salaries and pensions by 5.7 billion euro in 2017. Unions are also against the government’s plans to raise over 2.0 billion euro in 2017 from privatisations, including 1.2 billion euro from the sale of regional airports. Journalists were also striking. All television and radio news broadcasts were off the air a day and no newspapers were published before the nationwide general strike. Journalists are protesting the social security reforms that will affect their pension funds. The media sector has been hammered by both the financial crisis and a global slump in newspaper sales and media advertising. Journalists are often left unpaid for several months.

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