‘Our rage will be relentless’: Syriza faces mass strike in Greece

Prime minister Alexis Tsipras under pressure as services including schools, hospitals, and banks are hit by 24-hour walkout

Greece’s leftist-led government will get a taste of people power on Thursday when workers participate in a general strike that will be the first display of mass resistance to the neoliberal policies it has elected to pursue.

The country is expected to be brought to a halt when employees in both the public and private sector down tools to protest against yet more spending cuts and tax rises. “The winter is going to be explosive and this will mark the beginning,” said Grigoris Kalomoiris, a leading member of the civil servants’ union Adedy.

Related: Get back to grassroots, Syriza – and show us a radical vision to transform Greece | Marina Prentoulis

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The Guardian view on austerity strategy: time for George Osborne to be flexible | Editorial

The chancellor should pay heed to his predecessors at the Treasury – and to the doubts of his own MPs

It is neither an original nor a controversial observation that families trapped in poverty might be blameless for their misfortune. Likewise, it is not Bolshevism to observe that extremes of inequality – whether measured by income or opportunity – have a corrosive effect on society. Clearly not, because those points were made on Tuesday in a thoughtful speech by Sir John Major, the former Conservative prime minister.

That Sir John’s intervention made headlines testifies to a narrowing in recent years of Conservative discourse. It speaks to the party’s capture by a dogmatic view of the national economic interest predicated almost exclusively on the pursuit of budget discipline, whose social cost may be regretted but not cited as reason to change course.

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More City reforms needed, Bank of England governor tells forum

Mark Carney tells audience ‘heads I win; tails you lose’ capitalism is coming to an end but more needs to be done

George Osborne has said City fraudsters should receive the same treatment as shoplifters as he joined forces with the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, to promise the public that the scandal-hit financial sector was being cleansed of wrongdoing.

The chancellor said he understood the anger felt by voters towards bankers guilty of multimillion pound rip-offs and said they should be treated like other criminals if they broke the law.

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Slashing science spending is false economy, warns Chuka Umunna

Labour’s former business spokesman says government risks ‘cutting off its nose to spite its face’ if it raids grants that support productivity in spending review

The government will “cut off its nose to spite its face” if it slashes science spending and cuts investment grants in the comprehensive spending review this month, according to Chuka Umunna, the former Labour business spokesman.

Speaking to manufacturing bosses in the Midlands on Wednesday, Umunna said Britain’s recovery would suffer a setback if the chancellor sought to make savings from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the grants that support productivity improvements and growth.

Related: Science is vital: five reasons to be angry about science funding

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