This, really, is where we’re headed:
ATHENS, Greece – A two-day general strike that unions vow will be the largest in years grounded flights, disrupted public transport and shut down everything from shops to schools in Greece on Wednesday, as at least 50,000 protesters converged in central Athens.
All sectors, from dentists, state hospital doctors and lawyers to shop owners, tax office workers, pharmacists, teachers and dock workers walked off the job ahead of a Parliamentary vote Thursday on new austerity measures.
Flights were grounded in the morning but were to resume at noon after air traffic controllers scaled back their initial strike plan from 48 hours to 12. Ferries remained tied up in port, while public transport workers staged work stoppages but were to keep buses, trolleys and the Athens metro running for most of the day.
Several thousand police deployed in central Athens, blocking a road by Parliament and shutting down two nearby metro stations as protest marches began. Authorities estimated the crowd at 50,000, and more people were streaming into the downtown area. A small group of protesters briefly pelted police with garbage, but the rallies were mostly peaceful.
At least 15,000 demonstrators also gathered in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city.