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Greeks protest as jobless rate nears 30%

UNIONS in Greece have launched another general strike against austerity measures, amid predictions that unemployment will reach 30% this year.

The 24-hour protest by unions representing private and public-sector workers disrupted flights and ferry services and crippled public services. Schools were shut and most public transport ground to a halt.

In Athens, thousands of police were on duty for union street rallies.

Unions are angry at the conservative-led Government over policies aimed at curbing overspending.

Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has won praise from bailout lenders for pushing through cost-cutting measures.

French President Francois Hollande was in Athens on Tuesday to express support.

But a new round of tax rises and a surge in unemployment to 27% angered unions, as Greeks battle a rise in poverty and face a sixth year of recession.

Recently, the Government has twice used emergency powers to force an end to strikes by ferry and subway workers.

Ilias Iliopoulos, general secretary of the civil servants union Adedy, said: "The Greek people have no tolerance left."

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Local government

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