Professionals, including journalists, doctors and court officials across Greece walked off the job Wednesday, ahead of a nationwide strike called by the country’s two biggest trade unions to oppose the government’s austerity plans.

The 24-hour strike caused a news blackout and hospitals were operating with emergency staff, while courts were closed. It comes ahead of another 24-hour nationwide strike called by unions for Thursday.

Athens is in talks its international creditors, the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund on the cuts Greece needs to make to receive a bailout.

The coalition government has failed to reach agreement on labour market reforms, such as the scrapping of automatic wage increases and reducing severance pay.

Greece’s creditors are to be represented at the European Union summit in Brussels on Thursday.

The country is expected to implement budget cuts totalling some 13.5—billion—euros (17.6—billion—dollars) in exchange for the 31.5—billion—euro bailout.