Uncertainty and discontent have driven many Greeks away from their jobs and into the streets. It is the first general strike against the left-wing Syriza government. The Greek population apparently is fed up with austerity measures.
Greeks have long viewed the German finance minister as a symbol of failed austerity policies. But Athens is by no means joyful now that Wolfgang Schäuble is leaving after eight years in office, says Jannis Papadimitriou.
A protest in Athens took a violent turn as labor unions launched a strike over a raft of austerity measures. Workers worry they are being forced to accept salary cuts without receiving more bailout funds in return.
Greece has been hit by a 24-hour walkout which halted trains and ferries, closed gas stations and schools, and grounded domestic flights. The government is under pressure from lenders to roll out a new pension overhaul.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wants to revamp his far-left Syriza party and turn it into a strong, big tent party that appeals to a larger portion of the electorate, but that also remains loyal to him.
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