Greek unions target austerity skeptics

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's unions are holding their third general strike in six weeks in the hope of persuading politicians not to back a major new austerity program that will commit the country to further hardship.

Flights will stop between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (0800-1100GMT) Tuesday, at the start of a 48-hour strike that will close schools, halt train and ferry services, and keep hospitals running on emergency staff only.

Two days of demonstrations are planned to start at 11:00 a.m. (0900GMT) Tuesday, continuing until lawmakers vote late Wednesday on the bill to slash €13.5 billion ($17.3 billion) from budget spending over two years.

Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is facing strong opposition from his Socialist and left-wing lawmakers in his coalition, in the first serious crisis for his five-month-old government.

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