Greeks join Internet strike fray

Greek Internet users followed the example of other European countries and launched a one-day protest on Thursday against the cost of using the Internet.

In a statement posted on a special Web site, a group representing Greek Internet users called for users to shun the Internet on Thursday and to write protest letters to the dominant telephone carrier, OTE, as well as to the Greek prime minister, the Parliament and to Greek political parties.

The users' group could not be immediately reached to determine how many users took part in the boycott.

The group is protesting the new pricing policies of OTE, according to the statement posted on its Web site. Hourly phone charges in Greece amount to roughly 64 US cents during the day and about 28 cents at night, the statement said, which makes Internet usage "exclusionary", the group said.

Among the user group's demands is that OTE provide special low-cost numbers for Internet users, and make improvements in the Greek telephone system.

OTE's current pricing policy will cut Greek Internet users off from their Greek brethren elsewhere in the world, prevent fair access to information and will harm the education of Greek children, the statement said. The statement can be read at http://www.periptero.com/ote/ote.htm.

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