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A man watches a demonstration by Greek workers from atop a tourist bus in front of the Finance Ministry in Athens. - 


Bill Radke: For the second time this month, Greece is in the grip of a nationwide strike. As many as 2 million workers are reported to have walked off the job for 24 hours in a protest against Greek government cutbacks. From Athens, Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.

Stephen Beard: The strikers are rallying and marching while large parts of the city lie idle. The subway has ground to a halt. Many public offices are empty, and even the country's famous archaeological sites have shut down. The strikers oppose the governmet's plan to cut the budget deficit by freezing and reducing public sector pay.

Union member Despina Koutsoumba says pay cuts will only deepen the Greek recession:

Despina Koutsoumba: If we don't have money to spend, if we don't have money to live, how this will get the country out of the crisis? This is a question that many, many countries in the Europoean Union and worldwide have to answer.

But the pressure is on Greece. Fellow eurozone members like Germany say Greek debt is undermining the euro. European and IMF officials are in Greece this week studying the public accounts. They're expected to call for even deeper spending cuts.

In Athens, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.