When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!

KATHERIMINI (Greece), THE GUARDIAN (UK), REUTERS

Worldcrunch

ATHENS - The three-month old Greek coalition government is facing its first anti-austerity general strike Wednesday, with disruptions bringing the country to a standstill.

Greek public sector unions have called a strike that is likely to draw thousands of workers out into the street today to protest against the new rounds of austerity measures, initiated by the conservative-led coalition government and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

Good morning #Greece; nice day for a strike, cool and cloudy with sporadic Molotov showers expected #26SGrtwitter.com/VeriasA/status…

— Anthony Verias (@VeriasA) September 26, 2012

@northauratwitter.com/Vorphalax/stat…

— Vorphalax (@Vorphalax) September 26, 2012

The revelation of new spending cuts, worth nearly $15.5 billion in order to secure aid, and the expected slashing of wages, pensions and welfare benefits has been met with a sour response from the Greek public, a third of whom now live under the poverty line.

Reuters reports that the MRB polling agency last week published a report showing 90% of Greeks believe the planned cuts are unfair and burden the poor.

Costas Tsikrikas, head of the ADEDY public sector union that is calling for the strikes, told Reuters: "The new measures are unbearable, unfair and only worsen the crisis. We are determined to fight until we win."

"We call on all workers to join us in the march against the policies that the troika is imposing," Tsikrikas said.

Greek daily Katherimini reports that flights have been grounded for a three-hour walkout, ships moored and shutters pulled down in Greece's major cities in preparation for the mass protests.

Three thousand police officers have been deployed in Athens as Greek authorities expect demonstrations to become violent, after February's clashes between demonstrators and the police.

According to several tweeps, police has started detaining people before the protest. As usual. #Athens#26Sgr

— Bill Lampos (@lampos) September 26, 2012

Police reportedly blocking people from heading downtown to join #26sgr demo. (New) Democracy at work.

— Manos Moschopoulos (@maledictus) September 26, 2012

The Guardian is reporting that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and head of the IMF Christine Lagarde will meet in Athens today to attempt to negotiate a joint EU-IMF venture.

The British daily's Athens correspondent Helena Smith wrote: "This comes against a backdrop of reports that Merkel and Lagarde are at odds over how to proceed with the debt-stricken country following clear evidence of what the IMF managing director has described as a "financing gap" in Athens’ EU-IMF-sponsored rescue program."

"Growing pressure from the Washington-based fund for a restructuring of Greece’s debt mountain – this time in the official sector i.e, by EU governments - has reportedly exacerbated tensions."

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Migrant Lives

When Migrants Vanish: Families Quietly Endure Uncertainty

Zimbabweans cling to hope even after years of silence from loved ones who have disappeared across borders.

illustration of a woman in nature contemplating a framed picture of an older woman
Illustration by Matt Haney, GPJ

HARARE, ZIMBABWE — Blessing Tichagwa can barely remember her mother. Like hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans, Noma Muyambo emigrated to South Africa in search of work, leaving baby Blessing, now 15, behind with her grandmother.

The last time they saw her was nine years ago, when Blessing was 6. Muyambo returned for one week, then left again — and has not sent any messages or money since.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest