Strike in Greece angers thousands of airline passengers

A one-day strike by Greek civil servants grounded about 600 domestic and international flights on Thursday, stranding thousands of passengers around the country.

The strike also closed all public schools, tax offices, public hospitals, the post office and some banks. The strike was called by the Union of Greek Civil Servants, or ADEDY, which is seeking higher wages and more benefits for employees in the public sector. Teachers were also to stay away from their jobs on Friday.

"Participation in the strike seems to be very high, more than 70 percent in many parts of the public sector that are participating," ADEDY General Secretary Ilias Iliopoulos said.

According to Athens International Airport, about 500 flights were canceled on Thursday. Another 100 flights were canceled around Greece. Most airlines rescheduled their flights and asked passengers to rebook.

A rally was planned by civil servants in central Athens later Thursday to press their demands. Employees in Greece's broader public sector are thought to make up about one quarter of the country's work force of about 4 million people, the AP reports.


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