A week before the start of a tide of labour action, the Greek Socialist PM Papandreou the Third has announced him government sees "no margin for blockades and strikes".
The Greek PM and leader of the Socialist Party (PASOK) and the Socialist International, George Papandreou has once again revealed the real face of his government by announcing that there are no "margins for blockades and strikes". The announcement came in Parliament in a speech rife with conspiracy theories about a combined speculators and foreign press war against greece which is supposedly undermining the country's sovereignty. Using PASOK's old populist anti-imperialist discourse salted with technocratic frill, the PM talked about a threat for "the people's sacrifices to been blown for ever to the wind". The populist rhetoric came combined with the proposal of a new electorate system that would deprive citizens from choosing their MPs, who would be instead chosen by the parties after the election results.
The pathetic combination of populism and technocratism that is the trademark of PASOK comes in full force as the farmers blockades enter their third week. Although only 15 out of the 30 original blockades remain, these are composed purely of independent farmers who have repudiated the official unions. For this reason they are despised by the bourgeois press as "anarcho-autonomous" and by the Ministry of Agriculture as "anarchosyndicalists". At the same time the greek government is under pressure by an approaching tide of labour action, starting with the February 10 strike of all private employees (ADEDY). Already dozens of strikes have been announced for February. Meanwhile, dozens of attacks against state and capitalist targets in Athens and Salonica are troubling the forces of repression. The targets have included UN vehicles, the political office of the ex-PM Mr Costas Simitis, political offices of the Conservative Party, banks and many expensive cars. The disruption caused by such attacks is augmented by the persistent farce calls for bombs (approximately two every day according to the media in Athens alone) which cause state buildings and all surrounding streets evacuated for hours.
The climate of tension in expectation of the announcement of harsh economic measures is further embittered by an extreme-right campaign against the proposed citizenship for 250,000 second generation immigrants. The coordination of extreme-right organisations and parties, combined with the arrest of the 44 fascists last week, and the imprisonment of one of them (an editor of a newspaper previously funded by the colonels' junta, and convicted aggressor) resulted last Saturday to an unusually massive fascist march in Athens. The fascists plan to repeat their show of power in the coming Saturday, this time using as their demo starting grounds the Propylea academic asylum, a symbolic disgrace for a century of struggles.
The trial of the murderers of Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Amfissa has been postponed due to the death of the mother of the Public Prosecutor.