The city train and subway workers in Athens have walked out for a 24-hour strike over the government’s wage cuts and tax hikes. The city train and subway union said in a statement that the walkout on New Year’s Day of 2013 comes to show the difference between the city train and metro employees and most other public sector jobs in Greece, which have a paid public holiday on the day. The public view over the strike varies, as some justify the train operators’ actions and others believe the strike makes things worse.
“I believe they have every right to strike even if it means the rest of us have a hard time getting around," Stelios Livieratos, a retired bookseller said.Meanwhile, another Greek, Dikaios said the strike only makes it difficult for average people and has no impact on the government policies. "At every year-end we talk about our hopes for the next year, and every year things get worse," said Dikaios. The Greek government says the austerity measures, which since September have sparked numerous protests across Greece, are needed to tackle the country’s debt crisis. According to the government, the third round of austerity measures in two years, which reduces wages, pensions, benefits and jobs in the public sector, would be the last painful cuts to incomes. Greeks say they are wary of the government’s promises to create jobs and growth because they feel the high taxes, record unemployment and austerity fatigue on a daily-basis. GVN/PKH/SS