Since Greece's finances started to implode in late 2009, incomes have dropped on average by about 30 percent.

Strikes in general are so widespread and frequent in Greece that they have become part of everyday life.

"I agree with the strikers," said Christos Bousios as he walked through central Athens. "They have their demands. People will be inconvenienced. With all strikes, it's people who end up paying. ... Those who complain about the strikes today are the ones who strike the next day and make other people's lives hard."

The Greek capital's metro, which opened in 2000, serves more than 700,000 passengers daily. It operates alongside an older network, bringing the capital's combined daily subway traffic to 1.1 million passengers, according to the operators.

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