News blackout as Greek journalists strike

2010-12-17 12:03

Athens - Greek journalists caused a news blackout on Friday as they went on a 48-hour strike to protest a government austerity plan.

Television channels aired pre-recorded material, Greece's normal news programming was suspended, radio stations played back-to-back music and newspapers would not be published.

Meanwhile, a four-hour work stoppage by public transport workers, including the national railway, was expected to cause extensive traffic delays later in the day.

Transport workers on Athens tram and metro network vowed to continue their labour action with strikes continuing next week.

Athens is implementing a wave of economic reforms as part of a bid to slash public spending in exchange for a €110bn rescue package from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The socialist government cut pensions and salaries, increased taxes and raised retirement ages as part of the conditions set out under the international bailout.

This week, parliament passed a new law ordering a fresh round of pay cuts, involuntary staff transfers at state companies and relaxation of labour laws.