Public transport strike in Athens snarls traffic

ATHENS, Greece – Most workers on the Greek capital’s public transport system have walked off the job in a 24-hour strike to protest privatizations that are part of the country’s international bailout conditions.

Wednesday’s strike halted trains, the suburban railway and the Athens subway, snarling traffic in the capital. Trams also stopped running for four hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Public transport workers gathered outside the offices of the country’s privatization agency to protest plans to privatize the railway system.

Greece has been dependent on rescue loans from other Eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund in three international bailouts since 2010, after years of profligate spending and lax fiscal management led to a deep financial crisis. In return for the loans, successive governments have had to implement austerity measures, including privatizations.