Strikes in Athens continue all week, severely affecting businesses over holidays

More than two million Athenian commuters who normally opt for public transport were forced to take cars or taxis to work as the public transport strikes continued.

There is no Christmas truce as the mass strikes continue for the second week running, affecting seriously businesses and commuters. Shop owners and businessmen pleaded yesterday with public transport workers to end the protest because they are suffering severe losses in revenue ahead of the Christmas shopping season, Greek media reported.

There was traffic congestion, a paralysed city and panic on the stock exchange as traders reported losses amounting to three billion euro, the private Bulgarian television channel bTV reported on December 21 2010.

“Many retailers who were hoping for a breath of fresh air and a respite from the financial stagnation over the holiday season are forced to close down because of the strike. Thousand of stores have their doors shut at a time when they should be bursting with business,” reports in Greek media said.

Athens suffered a 24-hour strike on most of the public transport network on December 20, the third such day of action in the past two weeks. There will be no bus, trolley bus or tram services between noon and 4pm on December 21, Kathimerini reported.

Another strike is planned for December 23, as buses will be running between 9am and 9 pm, but all other modes of transport will be on strike. The strikes will continue on Christmas Eve as well, reports said.

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