Greek unions calls for national strike in protest of proposed pension reforms

Greek public and private sector transport workers from across the country are on a 24-hour strike today to protest the

greek pension strike

Photo: Ekathimerini

Greek public and private sector transport workers from across the country are on a 24-hour strike today to protest the government’s social security and pension reforms.

Since its formation in July, the centre-right government led by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has pursued a reform agenda to cut taxes and liberalise the Greek economy. While the recently unveiled pension reform bill raises the pensions of current and recent retirees, unions and opposition politicians claim the bill does not raise pensions enough for certain classes of workers and increases contributions for others disproportionately.

The strike will bring critical transport infrastructure in Athens to a standstill. A host of unions are expected to participate, including workers for the Athens Metro and ISAP electric train, trolley, and bus services.

Despite the reach of the strike, it is unlikely that it will force the government to change course. The pension reform is a far cry from the dramatic austerity-style cuts of recent memory. Furthermore, the shutdown of vital transport infrastructure could turn public opinion against strikers. The government may, and likely will, portray itself as acting in the national interest against the special interest politics of the unions.

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