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Civil servants strike in Greece

A 24-HOUR strike by Greek civil servants disrupted services across the country yesterday, forcing public hospitals to accept only emergency cases and airlines to cancel at least 68 flights.

Hundreds of striking workers marched through central Athens, the capital, chanting "Hands off our pensions!"

Doctors, teachers, ambulance crews and tax office workers were among those participating in the strike, called by Greece's umbrella civil servants union, ADEDY, to demand better social security benefits and wage increases.

Air traffic controllers also walked off the job for three hours, grounding all flights from 10am to 1pm.

Flight disruptions were expected throughout the day as airport staff joined the strike.

Greece's state-run Olympic Airlines canceled 68 mostly domestic flights and rescheduled another four international ones, while other airlines were also forced to either cancel or reschedule their flights.

Greece's conservative government passed a law last year reforming the country's fragmented pension system, cutting back early retirement rights and merging lucrative pension funds with financially troubled ones.


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