- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Union workers in Greece have launched a 24-hour strike over the government’s ongoing austerity cuts, bringing the nation to a virtual halt.

The strike is impacting the country’s transportation, medical and educational systems, delaying travels, leaving hospitals short-staffed and shutting some schools, BBC reported. The workers were planning marches for Athens, in blanket protest of lost and cut pensions and pay due to the nation’s broad cuts.

“Workers, pensioners and the unemployed are going through an endless nightmare,” port workers said in a statement reported by BBC.

The strike comes as Greece is trying to obtain a second round of bailout funding from the international community. The country has been facing financial ruin for years; workers have staged 30-plus protest strikes since 2010, BBC said.

Meanwhile, unemployment stands at a stubborn 28 percent — and that’s after the government took steps to bring down its national deficit. Union workers say the huge cuts in public sector jobs have hurt the nation further.

Greece has already accepted two bailouts totaling $323 billion, BBC reported.