Greece's major labor unions declared the strike against rising prices because of Russia's attacks on Ukraine, and called for collective wage agreements and salary increases.

The strike left ferries to and from Greek islands tied up in port, and left Athens without a subway, tram, trolley, or suburban railway.
The strike left ferries to and from Greek islands tied up in port, and left Athens without a subway, tram, trolley, or suburban railway. (AP)

Greeks have held a general strike over soaring prices, with the walkout shutting down public services and knocking out ferries and trains.

The country's biggest civil service and private sector unions joined Wednesday's action, with separate demonstrations by unions and leftist groups taking place in Athens and main cities.

“For the last 14 years, workers have been bearing the burden of a deep crisis that affected the income and the lives of everyone,” said the General Confederation of Greek Workers union (GSEE).

GSEE was referring to the Greek financial crisis that started in late 2009 and left the country dependent on international bailouts for a decade.

“The years have passed and the crisis is deepening, the burdens remain, rights are shrinking," GSEE said.

"We are striking and demanding the government take measures here and now."

READ MORE: Thousands protest in Greece over soaring cost of living

Greece has seen increasing prices, particularly in energy and certain supermarket goods such as flour, in the wake of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine.
Greece has seen increasing prices, particularly in energy and certain supermarket goods such as flour, in the wake of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine. (AP)

Rising inflation

Prices rose 6.2 percent in January compared with a year earlier — a record for Greece since it adopted the European Union's single currency in 2001. It bumped up to 7.2 percent in February.

Airport services were unaffected by the walkout. State-run hospitals were treating emergency cases only as health care workers joined the strike.

Facing a drop in popularity ahead of 2023 elections, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis last month announced a $1.2-billion benefits package to help poor households weather rising prices.

Countries across Europe are facing rising inflation as energy prices have jumped since Russia's attacks on Ukraine began on February 24, with the growing cost of living also sparking strikes and protests in Spain.

READ MORE: Thousands of Greek protesters rally against labour reform bill

Source: TRTWorld and agencies