Greek unions staged a general strike on Wednesday to protest government spending cuts and tax hikes. Associated Press reported that it was the first general strike of the year, renewing the confrontation between labor groups and the conservative-led government that has pursued austerity policies to cut debt, steps mandated by international bailout creditors. A new round of tax increases and a burgeoning unemployment rate of 27% have angered unions, as Greece faces its fifth year of recession. Unemployment is expected to reach an alarming 30 percent this year, according to AP while national output will contract 4.1 percent, according to a government study.
Greece Hit by New Strikes as Unemployment Rises to Near 30%
UPDATED 6:22 AM EST, February 21, 2013