Greece's main public sector union is staging a 24-hour strike over planned pension reforms. As Sonia Legg reports, it comes as lenders review progress on reforms ahead of the release of a key bailout instalment.
Troika officials - back in Athens reviewing reforms - would find it hard to leave any time soon even if they wanted to escape they're Greek critics. A 24-hour strike by the country's main public sector union left flights cancelled on Thursday. Protests have also been held. With many taking part expressing anger over the terms of an international bailout agreed last year. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PROTESTER, VASILIOS BAKALIS, A CULTURE MINISTRY EMPLOYEE, SAYING: "This bill continues to decimate workers' rights - rights which have been the subject of many previous battles for a better life.'" (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PROTESTER, MARIA ALIFIERI, A HOSPITAL WORKER SAYING: "We demand that our hospitals remain open and offer their services to all, Greek and migrants, that new staff are hired, and that we get the supplies and medicines we need to function properly." Greeks have seen their incomes and services slashed under strict austerity measures. But that's not enough for EU institutions and the IMF. They want proof additional reforms have been implemented before releasing the next bailout payment. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD ANALYST, LONDON CAPITAL GROUP, BRENDA KELLY, SAYING: "I don't think Grexit worries ever went away. Certainly Greece has had a lot of different sanctions and conditions placed on it if they ever want to get any sort of debt relief. These fiscal measures they have to undertake are quite problematic and are quite difficult to take on the chin." But that's exactly what Greeks must do, and it seems some may be grinning and bearing it. The country's main private sector union, the GSEE, didn't take part in the strike this time, leaving ground transportation operating as normal.