Customs officers, petrol carrying lorries, taxi drivers and Ministry of Economics workers go on strike this week against the austerity measures.
After the end of the bleakest carnival since the collapse of the junta, a new wave of strikes is threatening to bring Greece to a standstill.
Customs officers have once again gone on strike in protest to the austerity measures. The strike lasting from today (Tuesday 16) to Thursday 18 of February is going to see all export-import activities in the country come to a halt. In combination with the 3-day strike of customs officers starting today, the announcement of a 24h strike for Friday by petrol-carrying lorry drivers (who warn that they may extend their strike into the weekend) is expected to create serious fueling problems to the country. Already yesterday (a national holiday) long lines of cars tried to secure fuel in the few open stations across greece. The 1,300 lorry drivers are striking against the tax reforms introduced as part of the austerity measures. Also some 3,500 public-service lorries and truck drivers are warning they might join the strike on Friday in response to the austerity measures. Taxi drivers have also announced a new 24-h strike for Friday.
At the same time public sector workers employed under the umbrella of the Ministry of Economics have gone today on a 4-day strike against the austerity measures. The sectors that will subsequently see a week-long freeze (as last Monday was a national holiday) include: the State Chemical Lab (central FDA premises), the State Accounting Office, the National Statistical Bureau, the State Loans Office, the Capital-Market State Committee and all the central services of the Ministry of Economics and the Ministry of Finance. In short, all state-related transactions apart from the tax office will be halted.
The strikes come as warning of further austerity measures are aired in the bourgeois media who have launched a sustained propaganda campaign against the strikers.
On other news from greece:
In the city of Volos workers of the METKA heavy industry complex successfully blockaded the factory's gates this morning in a first act of resistance to the vengeful lay-off of three syndicalist workers. The industrial action has received the solidarity of Private Education Workers of Patras.
In Salonica a large anarchist protest march took to the streets of Tumba in response to a fascist attack on Fabrika Yfanet, the country's largest squat. The fascists sneaked into the massive squat and after unsuccessfully trying to set fire on its residential section tried to attack the assembly hall where people were holding a meeting. The fascists were soon led to a retreat but at the point of exiting the squat chasing them, the squatters were attacked by riot police forces in what seems to be a highly coordinated operation of terror.
In Athens, in the early hours of Tuesday, in what the media claim to be a rare standoff between the police and urban guerrillas, while trying to check the passengers of a car, two policemen were immobilized and robbed of their guns and bullet-proof jackets. Despite extended manhunt and sustain road blockades the suspects were not apprehended. The incident comes as yet another embarrassment to the greek police.
Finally, an uprising occurred on Monday at the central police station of Tripoli. After a Palestinian refugee jailed in the premises tried to kill himself his inmates set fire to the police department causing its evacuation. The uprising has been repressed by use of riot-police forces.