Greek airspace closed by general strike

5th May 2010
Greek airspace closed by general strike

Greek airspace has been closed to aviation traffic as air traffic controllers join a 24-hour general strike sweeping the country.

Airspace was closed from midnight on Tuesday, with all domestic and international departures cancelled.

The action is part of a coordinated industrial campaign by public and private works in Greece who are unhappy at ‘austerity measures’ imposed by the government in response to the country’s spiralling economic problems.

Protests in Athens turned violent this morning, with petrol bombs thrown at police. Smoke was also seen rising above the city after a bank was set alight. Reports suggest three bodies have been recovered from the burnt out building.

The strike is third such action in Greece in the last three months.

Bail Out

Strikes are unhappy about measures imposed by the government in an effort to cut the country’s deficit.

These measures include wage freezes for public sector workers, pension cuts and tax rises.

The aim is to cut the national budget by €30 billion over three years, subsequently bringing Greece’s public deficit down from 13.6 per cent of GDP to less than three per cent by 2014.


Greek officials are due to vote on the measures with later this week.

Members of the Eurozone have been sharply critical of Greek financial mismanagement, with stock markets around the world continuing to falter amid uncertainty over the value of the euro.

Greek government bonds have been reduced to junk status by credit rating agencies, while lenders – headed up by Germany and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are preparing a bailout for the troubled southern-European nation.

The EU has agreed to provide €80 billion in funding to support the faltering economy, but leaders are sceptical Greek authorities have the political will or capital, to implement the necessary changes.


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