Latest Greek strike falls flat
Archimedes: December 2011
Latest Greek strike falls flat.
Strike weary Greeks have greeted new demonstrations over austerity measures with a stifled yawn.
A walk-out by Greek government workers on December 1 shut down many services in Athens and other major cities but had little effect on those taking their winter holidays in the Greek islands.
There was none of the violence that has marred previous Greek strikes. After 18 months of street protests, Greeks seem resigned to a new wave of wage cuts and tax hikes.
Interim Prime Minister, Lucas Papademos, is keeping the coalition in line as Greeks push through more austerity measures in order to cash in on a second €175 billion bailout from the EU.
Street riots almost became normal in previous strikes as Greece tries to recover from a massive debt crisIs and many Greeks are still outraged at repeated pay cuts, pension curbs and tax hikes.
In October, more than 100 police officers and demonstrators were injured in two days of riots. But the December walkout resulted in only one petrol bomb thrown and a single damaged car.
The latest strike was also less disruptive to normal Greek life. Flights were not affected and and taxi drivers and pharmacists were working as normal.
But the austerity measure are making a deep impact on Greek life. Greece is now in deep recession with 18.4 percent unemployment, 100,000 businesses shut down, 500,000 people on benefits and the highest rate of homelessness in Europe.