General strike brings Greece to a halt as unions protest austerity moves
July 17, 2013 -- Updated 0253 GMT (1053 HKT)
A protestor holds a banner denouncing the Greek government on July 15 in Athens.
- NEW: Police: 16,000-17,000 people take part in a peaceful protest march on parliament
- A general strike affects public transit, flights, garbage collection and hospital staffing
- Parliament is to vote Wednesday on further austerity measures
- Greece has to reform its public sector in order to receive international bailout funds
Athens (CNN) -- A 24-hour general strike protesting further austerity measures brought many public services in Greece to a grinding halt Tuesday.
Public transit systems, flights and garbage collection services are affected by the nationwide action -- the fourth general strike this year -- while hospitals are running on skeleton staffing.
Labor unions held a rally in central Athens Tuesday morning, followed by a march to the national parliament building.
About 16,000 to 17,000 people took part in the demonstration, which was peaceful and resulted in no arrests, Athens police spokesman Panagiotis Papapetropoulos said.
The crowds started to disperse after they reached parliament.
Greece's former finance minister should be prosecuted, lawmakers say
A rally was also held outside parliament Monday night, but it did not attract large numbers of protesters. Many people have left the capital to escape the summer heat.
The general strike takes place ahead of a vote in parliament Wednesday on a bill containing further austerity measures.
The measures include the tightening of financial control of municipalities and other local authorities, changes to municipal policing and a provision making it easier to fire people in the civil sector.
The legislation must be approved in order for Greece to receive the next package of international bailout funds.
The bill is expected to go through, as the coalition government holds a slim majority in parliament.
Greece, the first country to receive a European Union bailout more than three years ago, is struggling to bring its huge public debt under control.
The country is in its sixth straight year of recession, and unemployment stood at 26.8% as of March this year, according to official figures. The jobless rate among young people in Greece has soared to nearly 60%.
OECD jobless rates forecast to remain stubbornly high
CNN's Elinda Labropoulou reported in Athens, and Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1225 GMT (2025 HKT)
Action needs to be taken immediately before affected states potentially collapse, says campaigner Bob Geldof.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Australian PM Tony Abbott vows to "shirt-front" Russia's Putin over the MH17 disaster.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
Serbia and Albania try to play but the major game is called off after a drone flying a political flag enters the stadium.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
George Clooney's new wife, is now Amal Clooney, raising the issue of married names.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1757 GMT (0157 HKT)
The mysterious unmanned X-37B space plane returns to Earth after more than two years in space. But the U.S. Air force isn't saying much.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)
Public health experts are asking whether the CDC is getting the wrong message out.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1541 GMT (2341 HKT)
It's no longer necessary to launch your startup in Silicon Valley -- thanks to the internet, you can do it anywhere.
October 8, 2014 -- Updated 0900 GMT (1700 HKT)
From a "democracy wall" to a towering "Umbrella man" statue, see the best art from the massive protests in Hong Kong.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.