By Dale Western on 04 October 2011

Greece will shut airports for a full day for the first time this year as the union representing at least 400,000 state workers plans a 24-hour strike to protest austerity measures aimed at winning European Union rescue funds.

The country’s largest public-sector union, known as ADEDY, called the strike for tomorrow to protest the government’s 6.6 billion euros ($8.7 billion) plan to put 30,000 public workers on reduced pay, raise property taxes and cut pensions and wages. The workers will either retire early or eventually be fired.

The strike, which will force cancellation of flights into and out of the Athens International Airport and school closures, comes after European leaders delayed a decision to release Greece’s next 8 billion-euro loan installment in a 110 billion euro bailout until after Oct. 13 as the government struggles to avert default. Greece’s economy contracted 4.5 percent in 2010 and will shrink 5.5 percent this year, according to forecasts from the Finance Ministry. The ministry forecasts the nation’s debt load at 172.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2012.

“We have workers who have had their wages cut by 40 percent and with the new measures it will surpass 50 percent,” ADEDY Chairman Costas Tsikrikas said by phone from Athens. “These measures, and all the measures that have been passed so far, are putting the heaviest weight on workers and pensioners, not on those who earn the most and have sent their money outside Greece to foreign banks.”

Due to the above, please note that any customers purchasing policies after today (Tuesday 4th October 2011 14:00 GMT) will not be covered under the policy for these strikes for Travel Delay, Abandonment and Missed Departure claims.

Any existing policyholders will have full policy cover and claims considered under Travel Delay, Abandonment and Missed Departure sections of the policy. However there is no cover within the policy due to Hostilities or Violence as a result of the strikes.

Please note that the airlines should make themselves responsible for offering clients alternate flights / compensation for additional accommodation and so these elements would not be covered under the policy. 

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