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Originally published Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 1:00 AM

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May Day strike disrupts transport in Greece

Ferry and train services in Greece have ground to a halt as unions hold a strike for May Day.

The Associated Press

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ATHENS, Greece —

Ferry and train services in Greece have ground to a halt as unions hold a strike for May Day.

And hundreds of people are gathering for planned rallies in central Athens Wednesday.

The country's main labor unions are protesting soaring unemployment, which is the highest in the 27-country European Union, and the austerity measures the government is enacting in return for crucial bailout loans.

Greece nearly went bankrupt in 2010 and has since depended on money from its euro partners and the International Monetary Fund, granted on condition the government pursues deep spending cuts and wide-ranging economic reforms.

While the austerity has succeeded in reducing high budget deficits, it has been at a huge cost. The country is now in its sixth year of a deep recession.

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