Strikes Hit Greece ahead of Cuts Vote

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Greek unions on Tuesday kicked off two days of labor action, shutting down ferries and news services ahead of a Wednesday general strike aimed at a new round of austerity cuts.

Journalists walked off the job and sailors began a two-day shutdown that severed maritime links to the Greek islands.

Ferry services will be paralyzed Wednesday during the 24-hour general strike that will also shutter the civil service and disrupt flights.

The mobilization is aimed against new pension and tax break cuts forced on Greece by its EU-IMF creditors in return for bailout cash.

The leftist government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras grudgingly accepted to legislate another round of pension cuts and lower tax breaks -- applicable in 2019 and 2020 respectively -- to unlock the cash payment ahead of looming debt repayments in July.

Athens hopes that the loan payment will be approved by a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on May 22.

The bill is to approved late on Thursday.

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