Greek pharmacies to indefinitely strike over deal with bailout lenders

A body representing Greece's pharmacies says drug dispensers' will close indefinitely in a strike starting Wednesday, in protest at a deal reached between the government and bailout lenders to deregulate store licenses.

Kyriakos Theodosiadis, leader of the Panhellenic Pharmacies' Association, said Monday that the government was planning to sweep away longstanding licensing controls to allow the creation of pharmacy chains and outlets in supermarkets. As a result, he said the government had reneged on assurances made to the association which has staged multiple strikes in recent months.

Bailout lenders reached the deal with the government last week after seven months. They agreed to restart loans in return for new measures that shifted the focus from public spending cuts to overhauling market rules, which the debt inspectors regard as overly protective.