Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis sent a message to trade unionists who organised a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, stressing “Once again, the few on strike inconvenienced the many.”
The Greek PM added, “They have lost touch with the world of work and do not realise that employees themselves want more involvement and democracy in the decision-making.”
Athens airport services and railways were severely affected. Ferries serving islands stopped their services completely and the journalists’ union announced a media shut down for the duration of the strike, over a bill they argue will undermine collective bargaining rights and the right to strike.
The wide-ranging strikes also affected public hospitals, banks and schools.
More than 5,000 protesters joined rallies organised by unions, who claim they are pressing for the restoration of pay scales and labor rights that were lowered and suspended during Greece’s three consecutive international bailouts between 2010 and 2018.
PM Mitsotakis claims that the new regulations would encourage greater investment and allow economic growth beyond 2%.
The bill is also aimed to tackle unemployment, which currently sits at 17%, the highest of any Eurozone country.
The proposed law would also require a turnout of more than 50% at any future strike action for it to be valid and will be discussed in parliament later in the month.