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Tourists stranded after strike in Greece (photos, video)

Tourists stranded after strike in Greece (photos, video)

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ATHENS, Greece -- If you are planning a trip to Greece then you might want to think again. Or if you have friends or family already in Greece, be aware that they may be delayed coming home.

That's because public services have been closed and many tourists have been stranded as Greeks perform strikes against planned cost-cutting reforms, says the BBC.

San Francisco world travelers are learning that in the country's main port of Piraeus, dock workers are not allowing tourists to get on ferries that are heading to the Greek islands.

In the main city of Athens, thousands of Greek protestors attended protest rallies, and some fought against the police, who retaliated with tear gas, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Close by, parliament got ready to debate tough austerity measures demanded by the International Monetary Fund and EU, reports the BBC.

Those measure included cutting pensions, raising the retirement age and making it easier for companies to fire their employees.

Recently Greece has had an economic crisis, and the government is putting in place a variety of economic measures in exchange for a 110bn-euro ($130bn) bail-out by the EU and the IMF in Washington D.C.

However, now, with more than six months of austerity measures and industrial strife behind them, struggles between the government and the trade unions are reaching their peak, says the BBC's Malcolm Brabant in the city of Athens.

The debate over proposed reforms due to begin on Tuesday is expected to last more than a week

The BBC reports that the challenge for the trade unions is to get large numbers of people onto the streets in an attempt to convince potentially rebellious Socialist MPs to vote against their own party and defeat the bill.

On Tuesday several protesters attacked riot police with stones and missiles. The police in turn attacked back with tear gas and stun grenades.

For world travelers, the strike disrupted local transport links. Journalists and medical workers were also on strike.

For travelers using ships and ferries, some passengers were prevented from boarding ships by angry protestors, although it should be noted some ships did manage to get out.

AP News reports that the country's airports have remained open, and international flights have been operating normally, although nearly 100 domestic flights in Greece have been canceled.

Tourism is important to Greece as it brings in about 20 percent of the country's revenue.

In the past, strikes have brought disruption to roads, railways and airports.

Re travel: San Francisco travelers can fly from SFO and can find online deals to Greece by checking out www.kayak.com.

It is advised to check with your carrier before you fly to ask about any restrictions.

Feel free to comment below.

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Comments

  • Barbara Hudgins, New Jersey Day Trips Examiner 4 years ago

    Wow, not a good time to travel there. Thanks for the story.

  • Jodie J 4 years ago

    So sad that in this tough economy some people think that making a situation worse is a positive move instead of negative.

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