Greek unions on 48-hr strike against proposed austerity steps

 Associated Press   Athens     Last Updated: November 6, 2012  | 11:35 IST

Greece's unions are holding their third general strike in six weeks in the hope of persuading politicians not to back a major new austerity program that will commit the country to further hardship.

Flights will stop between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm (0800-1100GMT) on Tuesday, at the start of a 48-hour strike that will close schools, halt train and ferry services, and keep hospitals running on emergency staff only.

Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is facing strong opposition from his Socialist and left-wing lawmakers in his coalition, in the first serious crisis for his five-month-old government.

Two days of demonstrations are planned to start at 11.00 am (0900GMT) on Tuesday, continuing until lawmakers vote late on Wednesday on the bill to slash Euro 13.5 billion ($17.3 billion) from budget spending over two years.

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