There was a media blackout in Greece on Tuesday, 24 hours ahead of a nationwide general strike that is likely to paralyse services and disrupt transportation across the country.

Media workers are protesting the series of job cuts in news organisations following the implementation of austerity measures.

Television and radio news bulletins will not be broadcast, news websites will not be updated, and newspapers and magazines will not be published until Thursday.

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou criticized the strike action on the day French President Francois Hollande was to visit Athens.

“They are trying to sabotage the visit by not covering it.” State broadcaster NET said it would briefly cover Mr. Hollande’s arrival.

There were 11 television channels, 71 radio stations, more than 22 national newspapers and numerous weekly and monthly magazines until recently in Greece.

But the financial crisis that started in 2010 has left more than 30 per cent of journalists unemployed. Many dailies, such as Apogevmatini, and the weekly financial newspaper Kosmos tou Ependyti, or Investor’s World, have ceased publication.

The journalists’ union is demanding new collective labour contracts after staff at private television and radio stations say they are under pressure to renegotiate contracts with pay cuts of up to 30 per cent.

A nationwide strike on Wednesday has been called by two main private and public sector unions, forcing the cancellation of trains and ferries across the country.

Tax and municipal offices and schools will be closed; hospitals will run on emergency staff.

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