Europe

Greek unions strike despite debt relief pledge

  • Supporters of the communist-affiliated union PAME gather during a protest in Athens, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Public services in Greece have been disrupted by a general strike called by unions against ongoing austerity measures. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

    Supporters of the communist-affiliated union PAME gather during a protest in Athens, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Public services in Greece have been disrupted by a general strike called by unions against ongoing austerity measures. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of the communist-affiliated union PAME shout slogans during a protest in Athens, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Public services in Greece have been disrupted by a general strike called by unions against ongoing austerity measures. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

    Supporters of the communist-affiliated union PAME shout slogans during a protest in Athens, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Public services in Greece have been disrupted by a general strike called by unions against ongoing austerity measures. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man walks by docked ferries during the seventh day of strike by seamen's unions at the port of Piraeus near Athens, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Ferry crews continue their strike as Greece's biggest labor unions have called a general strike for Thursday, to protest further tax hikes and labor reforms demanded by the country's bailout creditors. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    A man walks by docked ferries during the seventh day of strike by seamen's unions at the port of Piraeus near Athens, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Ferry crews continue their strike as Greece's biggest labor unions have called a general strike for Thursday, to protest further tax hikes and labor reforms demanded by the country's bailout creditors. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

Public services in Greece have been disrupted by a general strike called by unions against ongoing austerity measures.

The 24-hour protest Thursday affected public transport services and state-run schools, halted ferries and national rail services, and left public hospitals running with emergency staff.

The strike went ahead despite a decision this week by bailout lenders to grant Greece a series of short-term debt relief measures aimed at evening out the country's repayment schedule.

Greece' left-wing government is still negotiating a new series of cost-cutting reforms that are expected to see the removal of protection measures for private sector jobs and distressed mortgage holders.

Protest marches are planned in central Athens later Thursday.