Thursday, February 4, 2010

Greece’s Biggest Union Sets Strike, Threatens Cuts

Greece’s biggest union has approved a mass strike this month. It is the second major union in Greece to do so.

GSEE, which represents about 2 million workers in the private sector, voted at a meeting in Athens today to walk out Feb. 24. The main public-employee union plans a Feb. 10 strike to protest spending cuts.

Grrek President Papandreou has appealed twice this week for Greeks to accept “painful” measures, saying the country can’t afford strikes and blockades.

ADEDY called its Feb. 10 strike to oppose plans by Papandreou to deepen spending cuts and to limit wage increases to those earning less than 2,000 euros ($2,782) and to trim bonuses for all state workers.

Papapandreou widened the wage freeze to all public workers on Feb. 2.

The complex mix of the public and private sector in Greece and the dire financial situation of the government makes for a highly explosive situation that could rock world financial markets, given the precarious financial situation of a number of governments around the world. All traders need to be monitor this situation closely.

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