THE SHOWDOWN: Greek unions on Monday launched three days of escalating strikes against austerity proposals that must win lawmakers' support if the debt-crippled country is to get more aid and stave off bankruptcy.
THE STAKES: The spending cuts and tax hikes sought by the country's bailout creditors aim to save €13.5 billion ($17.3 billion) in 2013-14. If lawmakers reject them in a vote Wednesday, Greece may lose vital rescue loans that have kept it afloat since May 2010.
THE ACTIONS: Doctors launched a three-day strike that will leave state hospitals functioning on emergency staff, while taxi-drivers started rolling 24-hour strikes. Journalists and Athenian urban rail and tram drivers also walked off the job.