Strike To Halt All Greece Flights On Wednesday

December 9, 2008

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Flights to and from Greece will be grounded on Wednesday as air traffic controllers walk out for one day to join a general strike over work place reforms and the government's economic policies, union officials said.

"All flights from and to Greek airports will be halted and only emergency flights will take place," Panagiotis Hatzakis, secretary-general of the air traffic controllers' union, said on Monday.

Greeks fear the nationwide strike could cause further unrest as rioting continued for a third day across Greece, triggered by the fatal shooting of a teenager by police at the weekend and fueled by economic hardship.

Dozens of people have been injured and scores of businesses destroyed in Athens and Thessaloniki during the riots, which have piled pressure on the conservative government.

State-owned Olympic Airlines, which is being privatized, and its rival Aegean Airlines, said they would cancel all foreign and domestic flights on Wednesday.

Greece's public and private sector unions have called the nationwide strike to protest pension reforms and the government's unpopular economic policies.