News / Europe

Greek Unions Announce Another Strike

Greece's two main public and private sector unions have announced a May 20 general strike to protest pension reforms.

The work stoppage will be the latest in a series of protests that have erupted since Greece adopted a plan requiring $30 billion in cuts in order to secure a $145 billion international bailout package designed to stave off bankruptcy.

Greece is due to receive an initial payment of $7billion from the loan package Wednesday.

Next week's strike could cause flight cancellations and cripple other forms of transportation, as well as disrupt public services across the country.   A May 5 strike turned deadly after protesters set fire to a bank in Athens, killing three people inside.

Critics say the austerity measures, which include reductions in civil-service pensions and wage freezes, disproportionately hurt the poor.

Greece's debt crisis has rattled investors worldwide and raised concerns that financial instability could spread to other European countries, including Spain and Portugal.

On Wednesday, the European Commission proposed that EU countries submit their national budget plans to the commission for review before taking the proposals to their national parliaments.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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