Economic Riots in Greece
March 3, 2010
A striking taxi owner protests on Monday
Libcom – State of war” declared by Greek PM
The greek PM, Giorgos Papandreou, has declared the country in “a state of war” after extended meetings with the EU economics commissioner Mr Rehn, leading workers to declare more strikes.
After two days of council with the EU commissioner Mr Rehn, the Greek Prime Minister and President of the Socialist International, Mr Giorgos Papandreou has announced that the country is in a state of war against its economic predicament. The anouncement was made in the Socialist Party’s Parliamentary Committee Assembly, which bourgeois media describe as particularly bitter and stormy with many top PASOK members resenting the PM’s austerity decisions. In an earlier declaration to the press, he had claimed that the state has money for no longer than a week to go. The meaning of the PM’s dramatic words might be no more than another effort to mobilise public defeatism and national consensus around the crippling austerity measures. Despite claims by local and international media, based on data from ill-reputed public opinion companies, the vast majority of the greek people are bitterly against the demanded sacrifices. A more darkly scenario circulating in Athens is that the “state of war” rhetoric is in fact a prelude to a “state of siege” which will suspend the articles of the constitution protecting striking and protesting.
Angered by the aggressive moves of the government which in effect go back on all its pre-election program, ADEDY, the public sector umbrella union has announced a 4h stoppage for next Monday and a 24h strike for the 16th of March. The union is holding talks with the GSEE (private sector CGT-type umbrella) for a new general strike soon. At the time of writing kiosks across the country remain closed due to a 24h strike, while taxi drivers have gone on a 48h strike across the country with motorised demos in Salonica and Athens. In Athens taxis formed a 5km long demonstration, while a scab spotted near the mobilisation was attacked by strikers. Yesterday the EU commissioner Mr Rhen had to visit the Ministry of Labour from the back door as clashes were developing between riot police and protesters who had managed to destroy the medal rolling bars of the Ministry in an effort to storm the building. Meanwhile tax officers have announced another 48h strike for the 8th and 9th of March.
The labour struggle of the Egyptian fishermen in Michaniona has come under renewed bosses attack, when yesterday night 60 thugs payed by the fishboat bosses attacked the houses of the Egyptian workers and beat them brutally.
Meanwhile, in the city of Yannena the headquarters of PASOK were occupied by anarchists protesting against the arrest of 11 protesters during the Byronas march last Saturday. All of the arrested have been released today, one of them on the conditions of not leaving the country.