A new wave of strikes against austerity measures are under way in Greece as unions react to social security changes ahead.
It has been a lukewarm return to the pre-Easter labour mobilisations, but it seems that another strike wave is on the rise in greece, once again against the austerity measures imposed under the constant shadow of the possibility of the country coming under IMF supervision.
Last week, taxi drivers performed a two day strike, while lawyers withdrew their labour for three days. This week the strike forecast, as the media have dubbed it, is more dense. Kiosks will be shut for 24h across the country, a vital strike at the local day-to-day economy. At the same time PAME, the Communist Party controlled union umbrella has declared a 48h strike starting tomorrow, which will be joined on Thursday by the overall public sector union umbrella ADEDY. The ADEDY 24h strike will see all state-run business and services shut, including the greek airspace with no flights performed. GSEE, the private sector union umbrella is holding talks with the government on Friday before deciding on new strikes on its part.
The focus of the present strikes is to prevent any anti-labour changes in the social security law, an almost certain possibility that has placed the Ministry of Labour under considerable EU pressure. The minister has pledged that pensions up to 800 euros per month will not be affected, but higher pensions will lose up to 300 euros per month. Indicatively in terms of the real value of this, a loaf of bread costs from 70c to 1.10 Euros, while an espresso 1,5 Euros take-away, 2.5 Euros sit-in.