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Greek Customs Workers Continue Strike

February 18, 2010 By: Jena Tesse Fox

The Associated Press is reporting that Greek customs workers announced 48-hour rolling strikes Thursday, the day that was supposed to be the last of a three-day strike to protest government austerity measures designed to pull Greece out of a debt crisis.

The customs strike has affected imports and exports, with fuel supplies in particular beginning to run short. The workers' main union called three 48-hour rolling strikes that will close customs offices until next Wednesday, when Greek workers across the country will walk off the job in a general strike.

"We have run out of everything over the past three days," said Dionyssis Mermingas, who runs a gas station in Athens. "We will be empty until next Thursday."

Labor unions have been protesting government austerity measures that include a freezing of civil servants' salaries, cuts in stipends and bonuses, a two-year increase in the average retirement age to 63 and higher taxes.

Greece's Socialists sharply revised the 2009 budget deficit after winning general elections last October—to 12.7 percent of gross domestic product from a 3.7 percent forecast months earlier—sending Europe into renewed financial crisis over mounting debts by Greece and several other countries using the euro.


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