The country’s two largest umbrella unions, the civil service’s ADEDY and the private sector’s GSEE, staged a general strike today to protest protracted austerity, which will continue for years after the formal end of the bailout programme in August, and to bring the country to a standstill.

Another wave of strikes will be held tomorrow, 31 May.

GSEE’s announcement called for a 24-hour general strike today, with a gathering in Athens’ Klafthmonos’ Square and a protest march, and GSEE and ADEDY were joined by representative social and academic civil society groups, “which have been hit by continuing disastrous policies of austerity, unemployment and over-taxation”.

Flights to and from Greek airports were halted between 10am and 1pm, due to a work stoppage organised by air traffic controllers.

In Athens, city buses, trolleys and trams were to be in operation only between 9am and 9pm, as there were scheduled work stoppages in the early morning and on the night shift.

Thessaloniki buses staged a work stoppage from the beginning of the morning shift until 7:30am and again from 9pm to the end of the night shift.

While the Athens Metro and the electric-powered trains operated, the route towards Athens International Airport was halted, and passengers had to get off at the earlier Doukissis Plakentias stop.

The Proastiakos suburban railway and Trainose inter-city trains came to a halt due to a 24-hour strike.

All ships remained tied to the docks due to the seamen’s union (PNO) strike.

In the healthcare sector, state hospitals operated on a skeleton staff, as hospital doctors and staff participated in the strike, as did ambulance workers.