Athens : Thousands of Greeks quit their jobs across the country to join a 24-hour general strike over rising heat, electricity and housing costs. Public services and transport remained disrupted.

About 10,000 protesters on Wednesday participated in a rally organized in front of parliament by umbrella labor unions for civil servants and private sector workers, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Wages are small, bills are huge, we demand solutions,” he said.

“Today’s nationwide strike is an important step in the progress of the labor movement’s struggle against a large front with a huge cost,” Dimitris Koutsoumps, general secretary of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), told reporters.

The ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict has skyrocketed energy and food prices and is finding it difficult to liquidate homes and businesses, labor unions said in press statements, calling for more support measures such as substantial wage increases from the state.

The government has recently allocated nearly four billion euros ($4.37 billion) to ease the burden on Greek society and the real economy, but much more needs to be done, he said.

Tax consultant Apostolos Dallas told Xinhua news agency: “We are here today to protest against the increase in energy and fuel prices, which affects us as professionals, but also affects our customers. Some of them are already on the verge of collapse.”

Hotel employee Yanis Sojos told Xinhua news agency, “Today we are calling for immediate measures to help middle-income workers, low-wage earners, the unemployed. Something must be done so that we don’t pay for this crisis.”

Between 2010 and 2018, Greece experienced a severe debt crisis with harsh austerity measures. The economy had just started to return to growth when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Today, the Greeks feel once again that their incomes have been eroded by the effects of the conflict in Ukraine. (1 Euro = $1.09)