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Greek union calls general strike for Nov 6
Wednesday - 10/16/2013, 1:54pm EDT
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greece's largest labor union has called a new general strike for Nov. 6, warning that unemployment has reached "nightmare" levels and that working rights are continually being eroded by austerity measures.
The GSEE union called the 24-hour protest Wednesday in its latest attempt to halt spending cuts imposed as part of Greece's 240 billion-euro ($325 billion) bailout agreements. The cuts are meant to reduce debt, but have hurt the economy and pushed the jobless rate to nearly 28 percent.
Anticipating the announcement, ferry workers had already called a 24-hour protest for Nov. 6.
The conservative-led government has insisted it will impose no new cuts to pensions and salaries or tax increases to address gaps both in its financing and its fiscal program in the next few years.
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said Wednesday that decisions on the financing shortfall will be taken toward the end of the year by Greece's creditors.
Stournaras has said that the debt-hobbled country can cover the projected 11 billion-euro ($15 billion) gap in its financing needs for 2014-15 by rolling over bonds held by European central banks and domestic lenders _ an option ruled out by a senior European Central Bank official.
Greek unions have organized over 30 general strikes since the country's financial crisis broke out four years ago. Greece lost access to bond markets, forcing it to seek emergency loans from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)