Greeks Start 48-Hour Strike

Just as the European Union breathed a sigh of relief that Greek politicians reached a deal to pass austerity measures needed for an EU bailout and avoid default in March, angry Greek workers on Friday kicked off a protest against new measures in a 48-hour-long general strike all across the country. Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos plans to cut private-sector wages by more than 20 percent, lay off thousands of government workers, and cut federal spending—which labor unions condemn the actions as "a tombstone" for the country. Most public transportation will be shut down thanks to the strike, and all government offices, schools, and hospitals will be operating on emergency staff. Despite the unpopularity of the austerity measures, the deal is expected to pass the Greek Parliament on Friday.