Greece: Ferries, urban transport halted by strikes, protests

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Protesters shout slogans during a rally in Athens, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. A 24-hour strike in Greece has halted ferries, public transport, and municipal services in Athens and other parts of the country, as unions mounted protests against pension reforms by the center-right government. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A 24-hour strike in Greece halted ferries, public transport, and municipal services in Athens and other parts of the country Tuesday as unions mounted protests against pension reforms by the center-right government.

Flights, as well as national rail and bus services, were not affected.

The strike went ahead after a pension reform bill was submitted to parliament. It includes plans to lower monthly income contributions and overhaul the way some pension funds operate.

Some 10,000 protesters joined rallies in Athens, where no disturbances were reported. Large protests were also held in Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, and other cities.

Pension reform is a contentious issue in Greece following a decade of crisis and international bailouts that caused successive salary and benefit cuts pushing many into financial hardship.

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