Greece: General strike to protest austerity measures

( Public services are to be paralyzed again on Thursday as thousands of workers walk off the job to protest an ongoing austerity drive in the seventh general strike this year.

As usual, tax offices, courts and schools will shut down, hospitals will operate on emergency staff and customs officials will walk off the job.

The national rail network will suspend operations all day as will the Proastiakos suburban railway service. Ferries too will remain moored in port as seamen join the 24-hour walkout.

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( Big shift for Greece: Peaceful austerity protests

ATHENS, Greece—The setting was familiar: White banners daubed with red-and-black anti-austerity slogans, crowds shouting outside Parliament, fists clenched.

But as 20,000 Greeks marched Thursday in central Athens against government cutbacks, one key element of most Greek protests was lacking—violence.

Apart from one thrown petrol bomb and a smashed car, calm reigned at two separate protests in the capital during the first general strike under Greece’s new technocratic coalition government.

Riots during strikes have almost become the norm in the country that kicked off Europe’s massive debt crisis. Greece is crippled by debt, facing record unemployment and heading into a fourth year of recession.

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