Greek unions lashed out at the government on Monday with protests, strikes and ministry building sit-ins, intensifying resistance to austerity cuts in what will be a decisive week for the future of the country and the 17-nation euro.
Greece faces a key vote on new austerity measures on Thursday, while other eurozone countries are rushing to find a comprehensive solution to the debt crisis by the end of the week.
Protesting civil servants continued occupations of the finance and labour ministry buildings on Monday. Tax collectors and customs officers walked off the job, while strikes also forced ferries to the Greek islands to remain idle and rotting trash on Athens’ streets to pile up for a 16th day.
A 48-hour general strike to be held on Wednesday and Thursday is set to ground flights for two days and cripple public and many private services.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou also said on Monday that the eurozone faces its “most critical week.”
The week ahead “will determine the fate of the eurozone,” he said, warning of prolonged “insecurity” unless definitive decisions are taken at a European Union summit on Sunday.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel will also brief parliament on her government’s position ahead of Sunday’s summit, her spokesman Steffan Seibert said on Monday. AP/AFP