ATHENS, Greece, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Unions struck Tuesday, shutting down most of Greece's transportation lines as negotiations proceeded on a second financial bailout.
Airports were open but buses, trains and ferry services were disrupted by the strike, The New York Times reported.
The action came as efforts to secure a second bailout for Greece, valued at $170 billion, proceeded on several fronts.
The Times reported Prime Minister Lucas Papademos planned meetings with bondholders to discuss acceptable reductions and also was scheduled to meet with government leaders with the goal of finding support for a new round of austerity measures.
The government, at the behest of the international rescue team, needs to negotiate a devaluation of Greek debt with creditors or the country could fall into default March 20 when billions of dollars of debt come due.
The rescue team, called the troika, consists of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The government Monday agreed to cut 15,000 jobs from the public sector this year and 150,000 by 2015. Greek Administrative Reform Minister Dimitris Reppas did not provide details on how the cuts would be carried out. Firing a government worker is illegal in Greece.
Other reductions agreed to Monday include $4 billion in healthcare, defense and local government cuts over two years. Some $1.6 billion more in cuts remained in discussion.
Greek leaders also agreed to cut the minimum wage 20 percent.
Greek politicians refused to yield to severe austerity demands, even as German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned the refusal threatened "the entire eurozone."
"I will not contribute to the explosion of a revolution from destitution that will burn all of Europe," George Karatzaferis, leader of Greece's radical right-wing populist political party LAOS, said Monday.
Some economists have said the budget reductions have already contributed to a severe recession, which is in its fourth year in Greece.
The IMF predicts the economy in Greece will shrink by 6 percent in 2012. By contrast, the IMF in January predicted global economic growth of 3.5 percent for the year.
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