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Greek ferry strike leaves thousands of travellers stranded

Unions are seeking to extend the one-day strike being held over pay and tax breaks.

Thousands of travellers have been stranded on Greece’s islands due to a strike by ferry crews seeking higher pay and tax breaks.

The main PNO crew union is meeting to decide whether to extend the one-day strike, which is scheduled to run until early on Tuesday.

Ferry firms have said the strike would affect about 180,000 people who had booked to travel to or from the islands, which include many of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations such as Mykonos, Santorini and Crete.

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Unions seek the return of benefits and pay scales which were scrapped or frozen during eight years of international bailouts that ended in late August (AP)

Many islands have no air connections with the rest of the country.

Unions are seeking a 5% pay rise after an eight-year pay freeze due to the country’s debt crisis. Employers are offering 1%.

Tourism is a key earner in Greece, with record arrivals expected this year.

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