(Greece) – State hospital workers in Greece as well as teachers went on strike Wednesday to protest wages and working conditions. Workers are protesting in order to demand back pay, as well as staffing shortages that have come about as a result of the government austerity measures. Ever since the first bailout in 2010, the Greek government has had to meet a series of austerity measures demanded by the international creditors, and staff cutbacks have been one of them. The strike took place over a period of 24 hours and included hospital workers of all levels. This included nurses, doctors, and paramedics. A small staff, however, was still in place so that the hospital could still operate in the case of an emergency.
Meanwhile, other labor protests in Greece have been going on. Workers at the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki have been protesting privatizations that have taken place because of the bailout packages. There have also been strikes involving transportation workers that have disrupted private transportation. Recently, there was a four-hour walkout by workers at the Athens subway, tram, and with their rail staff. Strikes have been happening off and on since 2010 as workers in Greece protest austerity measures.
Greece is currently about to receive its third round of bailout funds. International creditors have required a series of austerity measures before releasing the bailout funds. Since 2010, these cutbacks were a requirement for receiving international aid. Greece needs this current round of bailout money to pay off loans from the the International Monetary Fund and European Bank. The international creditors have said that the Greek government needs to minimize government spending and find a way to receive more revenue. However, these cuts have resulted in salary cuts and has also cost a lot of Greek people their jobs. Some believe that the bailout funds and austerity measures will, over the long term, will help get the economy back on track.