Greek journalists strike to protest austerity; French president heads to Athens on brief visit

Greek journalists have walked off the job for 24 hours to protest austerity measures and income cuts, pulling radio and television news broadcasts off the air and leaving news websites without updates from 6 a.m. (0400 GMT).

Tuesday's strike coincides with a six-hour visit to Athens by French President Francois Hollande. Despite a court order ruling the strike illegal for state media, journalists at state-controlled outlets heeded union calls to participate, meaning no Greek media would cover the visit live.

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou accused the main opposition Syriza party for orchestrating the strike to cause "a news blackout" during Hollande's visit.

Journalists' unions have been protesting firings and pension and benefit cuts among other issues. Hundreds of journalists in the private sector frequently go unpaid for months.