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The new Greek coalition government is facing its first serious test against union opposition with a general strike Thursday, halting public services. The strike was called over new measures to impose public sector job suspensions and pay cuts, and an emergency property tax that threatens to cut power to households if they delay payment.
Protesters march during a rally on December 1, 2011 in Athens, Greece.
The two top unions say they are fighting to avoid more of the same. During two days of protests last month, Athens was marked by violence between the police and demonstrators.
The new government, lead by Lucas Papademos and in power for less than a month, is pressing ahead with more spending cuts and tax hikes to try and balance the public books. The coalition partners have pledged support for the measures in a parliamentary vote just before a further eurozone debt crisis summit in Brussels next week.