Austerity measures approved in Greece, protests continue

Greek protestor beaten.

The new measures have been voted in the Greek Parliament yesterday by a majority of 172 votes out of a total 300, these including the votes of the ruling Socialist Party (PASOK) and the extreme-right party of junta nostalgic creeps, LAOS.

The Conservative party, the Communist Party and the Radical Coalition of the Left voted against the measures. The procedure was not without surprises as 3 PASOK MPs cast a blank vote, leading to their expulsion from the Party. One of them a veteran Socialist politician and Olympic Games champion Mrs Sacorafa is refusing to hand over her seat in Parliament. At the same time the ex-Foreign Affairs Minister, daughter of the ex- PM Konstantinos Mitsotakis, and defeated candidate for the leadership of the Conservatives, Mrs Bakoyanni voted for the measures leading to her immediate expulsion from the Party – a move expected to lead the Conservatives to a major crisis. The demand of the Left for a 180 vote majority for the measures to be passed (a rule applied for constitutional reform) was not accepted by the government.

After the voting GSEE and ADEDY, the private and public sector union umbrellas staged a demo outside the Parliament, while around 10,000 PAME union (controlled by the communist party) allied protesters gathered in Omonoia square and marched towards the Parliament but refused to join the rest of the protesters in front of the Parliament. At the same time grassroots unions performed a march to the Parliament from Propylea where tension rose when police started detaining protesters with backpacks. After reaching Syntagma square around 10,000 protesters pressed against strong riot police forces protecting the Parliament shouting slogans like “air for the cholera to go away”. After some time in which the crowd was peaceful, Riot Police attacked in order to clear the area in front of the Parliament and prevent further demonstration. Protesters retreated quickly and no clashes were reported. People were injured by batons and stun grenades thrown at their faces. (Video)

Similar protests took place in Salonica without clashes being reported either.

It must be noted that today bank workers once again performed a walk-out at 12:00. Yesterday, bank workers went on strike as a response to the death of their three colleagues the day before.

Comments

giannis
May 7 2010 14:04

First of all this was originally written by taxikipali in the comments of War-Zone Athens as an update but I though it would make a good article.

I've made some minor changes especially at the point were the purpose of the police attack is described. The original text was:

Quote:
After some time clashes broke out when riot police attacked the crowd in order for it not to meet up with MPs exiting the Parliament. The clashes did not develop into riots and the general mood of the protesters has been reported as angry but not violent.

I think that the MPs would not encounter any problems because the main gate of the Parliament was free of protesters and already guarded well. Also I didn't see any clashes (except 2-3 stones), just the police beating people up.

taxikipali if there's a problem with my changes please let me know!

giannis
May 7 2010 14:17

Yesterday comrades re-occupied the squat that has been stormed by the police on 5/5. A few hours ago police entered again, took everybody under custody and at this point are sealing up the building.

giannis
May 7 2010 16:13

According to athens indymedia, Exarcheia district is full of riot police. Until now three people were arrested (?), 2 because they were clapping (ironically) as the cops were marching and one for taking a photo of the cops.

Exarcheia is the district in the center of Athens where communists and anarchists hang out and where 15 years old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in 2008 and 15 years old Michalis Kaltezas in 1985 were murdered.

Steven.
May 7 2010 17:30

giannis, thanks for posting this as a new article and for your updates afterwards. Please do keep us informed of developments and discussions going on over there

Django
May 7 2010 18:04

Thanks for posting this - I've edited the title and made one small sub-edit.

giannis
May 8 2010 01:56

don't thank me, credits to taxikipali!

Rats
May 8 2010 04:03

I was gonna write something questioning the legality of the eviction, but then i stopped for a moment and thought, only the laws protecting the ruling class are going to be the ones you can't break from now on.

Samotnaf
May 8 2010 04:54

About the bank walk-out: can you clarify that this strike was against the bosses, and their non-existent security about fires etc.? And how is this being presented in the Greek media? As a strike against the anarchists who are meant to have thrown the molotovs? Or what? There seem to be contradictory reports, though my confusion might be because of my state of mind/life at the moment, but some greater details might help.

giannis
May 8 2010 13:02

There are a lot of anti-militant feelings right now (and media played a key role in that) but the strike was against the bosses. Just take a look at the statement of the bank clerks' union that calls on the strike

GCI-ICG
May 8 2010 13:27

admin - spam deleted, any more will result in a ban

taxikipali
May 8 2010 17:00

giannis thanks for posting this - I was just a bit reluctant adding yet another piece in greece as news.

It must be noted that pharmacists are going on a 48h strike from Monday in response to the measures, while the Minister of Finance has scandalised the political world by including an article that excluded the Parliament from any further negotiation with the IMF giving himself dictatorial powers of deciding and ratifying all the new clauses of the agreement.