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Strikes spread as Greece prepares for budget debate

December 17, 1996
Web posted at: 9:30 p.m. EST (0230 GMT)

ATHENS, Greece (CNN) -- While the Greek government repeated its "no compromise" stand Tuesday, farmers who have blocked Greece's road network for 20 days lifted a key barricade on the north-south highway, further relaxing their grip.

However, civil servants added their voices to the chorus of disgruntled Greek citizens. Doctors, civil servants, diplomats and seamen went on strike before the opening of a five-day debate Tuesday in parliament on the 1997 austerity budget. Disruption was minimal, government officials said.

The workers are opposed to the Greek government's 1997 budget. Officials say the tough new budget is necessary to meet economic targets so that Greece can join a single European currency by the year 2001.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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