Tuesday, March 02, 2010

[olympiaworkers] "State of war" declared by Greek PM

Libcom.org Mar 2 2010

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.

Mar 2 2010 19:21

Update: School teachers have been the first to react to the new austerity
package which will be officially revealed tomorrow and is believed to
include a freeze on pensions and a curtailing of salaries. Tomorrow
teachers have called for a demo outside the Ministry of Finance, while
they also called a protest march for Thursday afternoon in Athens. The
teachers' union (OLME) has also called for a demo outside the State
Accountancy for the 10th of March and a 4h stoppage for both the 3rd and
10th of March. At the same time, the nurses national union has called for
strikes and demos for the 4th and 18th of March.

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