(en) NATIONWIDE LABOR WALKOUT AS SEAMEN END 11-DAY STRIK

Curtis Price (cansv@igc.apc.org)
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 14:57:50 +0100 (MET)


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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 23:07:03 -0500 From: NewsHound@sjmercury.com (NewsHound)

Subject: [72] NATIONWIDE LABOR WALKOUT AS SEAMEN END 11-DAY STRIKE

Selected by your NewsHound profile entitled "STRIKES". The selectivity score was 72 out of 100.

Nationwide labor walkout as seamen end 11-day strike ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Thousands of unionized workers walked off the job Thursday to protest higher taxes, while seamen ended their 11-day strike, which had left dozens of Greek islands without fresh food and medicine.

The one-day nationwide strike by the country's largest labor union -- the General Confederation of Greek Workers -- nearly crippled Athens, shutting down banks and offices and halting mass transit.

At the same time, however, ships at ports around the country began taking hundreds of stranded trucks to the dozens of Aegean Sea islands in desperate need of supplies.

Ships also began ferrying hundreds of stranded trucks to and from Italy, Greece's main gateway to Europe.

Cargo vessels on the island of Crete, a main producer of fruit and vegetables, also began steaming to the mainland loaded with perishables. The strike cost producers there an estimated $125 million.

The General Confederation called Thursday's strike to protest austerity measures implemented by Premier Costas Simitis' government. The toughest in 15 years, they impose higher taxes as well as an end to tax breaks.

Hardest hit was Athens, where thousands of demonstrators clogged traffic downtown as they marched to Parliament carrying placards and shouting slogans.

The seamen called off their protest after reaching a compromise solution with government negotiators at dawn Thursday over tax breaks and new income taxes.

The government says its belt-tightening measures are needed to meet strict economic criteria for participation in the European Union's single currency program. Greece is the worst economic performer in the 15-nation EU, despite years of austerity measures by conservative and socialist governments.

AP-WS-01-23-97 1812EST

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