Submitted by Samotnaf on May 30, 2011

Declaration of an assembly of 3000 on Saturday 28th May:

For a long time now, decisions are taken for us, without us.

We are workers, unemployed, pensioners, youth who came to Syntagma to struggle for our lives and our futures.

We are here because we know that the solution to our problems can only come from us.

We invite all Athenians, the workers, the unemployed and the youth to Syntagma, and the entire society to fill up the squares and to take life into its hands.

There, in the squares, we shall co-shape all our demands.

We call all workers who will be striking in the coming period to end up and to remain at Syntagma.

We will not leave the squares before those who lead us here leave first: Governments, the Troika, Banks, Memorandums and everyone who exploits us.

We tell them that the debt is not ours.

DIRECT DEMOCRACY NOW!

EQUALITY – JUSTICE – DIGNITY!

The only defeated struggle is the one that was never given!

I heard from a contact that last night in Syntagma Square there were about 50,000 people, everyone occupying it, while excluding all the political parties. There were 2-3000 people in a big assembly, definitely some anarchists, but overall people who are outside any scene. This was the 5th night. The decisions of the assembly (including its statements and its exclusion of fascists) have been really exciting. The big decision last night was not only to continue the occupation and assembly of this square, which is in front of the Greek Parliament, but also, starting today, to occupy many of the smaller squares in the neighborhoods, and begin assemblies there to begin self-organizing locally. Another thing posed by the central assembly is a self-organized, indefinite wildcat general strike, as opposed to the symbolic strikes organized by the big unions, but it's not clear if this is yet anywhere close to realistic.

Mark.

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The health ministry was left without power this morning after power workers cut the electricity supply in a symbolic protest against the government’s property tax.

The property tax is being levied through electricity bills. Workers complain that they are not a tax-collecting agency.

Trade unionists from Genop-DEI, which represents employees in the state-run Public Power Corporation (DEI), said that it was "unacceptable " that while the state owes the PPC 141m euros, it was at the same time "giving orders for the electricity supply to be cut to the poor, the unemployed and the small-pension earners".
 
In a statement, Genop-DEI said claimed the health ministry owes 3.8m in unpaid electricity bills alone...

http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/50458

Edit: more about this here

The November 12 union statement (which you can read here in Greek) refusing to implement electricity cut off is very clear and makes an appeal for defence organisations to be set up in every working class neighborhood to resist disconnections:

This is why we call on our members in any corner of the country where the employer (referring to DEH) disconnects power, to not disconnect power from the poor unemployed, the poor pensioners or workers. With their own initiative (or where there are already initiatives to respond to them) to suggest defence committees in every neighborhood so power won't be disconnected in the house of no poor or unemployed fellow man.

Mark.

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Austerity and fascism In Greece

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/11/mark-ames-austerity-fascism-in-greece-–-the-real-1-doctrine.html

Mark.

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yanis Varoufakis: The serpent’s egg hatchlings in Greece’s postmodern great depression

A brief history of the racist/fascist/neonazi penetration of Greece’s new ‘technocratic’ government

It will prove George Papandreou’s ugliest legacy: that his last-minute childish manoeuvering to maximise his waning hold on power (while negotiating his eviction from the PM’s job), has brought into the new ‘national unity’ government four self-declared racists (some of whom are neo-Fascists and one a neo-Nazi of some renown). It is also wildly ironic: for Mr Papandreou’s best quality has traditionally been his ardent cosmopolitanism, his demonstrated anti-nationalism, a genuine commitment to minorities and a deep seated intolerance of racism. Alas, such is the lure of power, it seems, that the entry into the new government of one minister and three junior ministers representing LAOS (a small ultra-right wing party) was cynically judged as a smaller price to pay than handing more control of the new regime to Mr Papandreou’s political opponents in the two major parties – his own PASOK and New Democracy, the conservative opposition.

To non-Greeks watching breathlessly the swearing into government of the serpent’s egg latest hatchlings, these news from Greece will surely resonate terribly. As they should! For yet again a Great Depression has given fascism another twirl. And while Greece is small and ought to be irrelevant, its past has spawned great perils for the world at large. Lest we forget, the Cold War did not begin in the streets of Berlin but in the alleys of Athens back in December 1944. Greece was also one of the first countries to have established a fully fledged fascist regime after the Crash of 1929: the Metaxas dictatorship in 1936. More recently, a CIA-backed coup brought Greek fascists in power six years before General Pinochet rolled his tanks against the Presidential palace in Santiago, quite obviously inspired by the ‘success’ of his Greek brethren. Nowadays, with Greece leading the chorus of Europe’s headlong dive into a new recession, and a renewed disintegration complete with racial overtones (Germans loathing the Greeks and vice versa), it is time for the world to take note. Feeling the irony of Papandreou’s tragic end will simply not do. Progressives around the world must remain vigilant.

[…]

subprole

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On Sunday, trade unionists of GENOP-DEI, the union of the Public Power Corporation, occupied the building issuing the electricity disconnection orders for households that have failed to pay their bills. As of a few weeks ago, the latest bills now include the latest property tax imposed by the government, typically including hundreds of euros per property, making payment for thousands a non-option. The statement by GENOP-DEI follows.

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/11/21/the-trade-union-of-greece’s-public-power-corporation-genop-dei-has-occupied-and-holds-the-building-issuing-electricity-disconnection-orders-–-full-statement/

An Affirming Flame

10 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Today is the day of general strike in Greece. Several thousands are marching in the main cities of the country. The Univeristy of Athens administrative clercks occupied the refectory of the Univrsity at the centre of Athens, while the steel factory of Halivourgia in Trhiasio and Gerolimatos-Cosmetics at Oinofyta have been occupied/blockaded by the workers. The management of Halivourgiki decided for the redudancy of several workers and pay cuts for the rest of them one month ago, since then the workers are on strike blockading the industry. The management of Gerolymatos-cosmetics announced to workers yesterday that from December on they will be able to work only one day per week.

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/12/01/general-strike-marches-and-blockades-of-workplaces/

Anyone else have any more news/updates? Seems like things are pretty tame by recent Greek standards for a general strike.

subprole

10 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

well, everything seemed to have been democratic, peaceful and quiet and of course most importantly d e m o c r a t i c so that everything can remain the same (according to the journalists):

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_01/12/2011_417195
http://greece.greekreporter.com/2011/12/01/unions-take-to-the-streets-in-general-strike%E2%80%8E/
http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2011/12/01/athens-all-quiet-at-protest-front-strike-dec-1-except-some-tear-gas/

proletarian.

10 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As far as it can be grasped what is the general feeling among the working class of some of these mental and reactionary bastards? Is it like some BNP people being in power?

subprole

10 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Little stories from IMF-run Greece: autonomous strike of workers at steelworks factory in Athens enters its 35th day, as wave of solidarity spreads across Greece

“Greek Steelworks” (Elliniki Halivourgia) is a factory in Aspropyrgos, an industrial outskirt of Athens. The management of the factory announced its plan to the workers to enforce 5-hour working days with a subsequent pay cut of 40%, despite recorded year-to-year profit increase of 30%. A General Assembly of the workers unanimously rejected the cuts, and the management subsequently fired 34 workers in revenge, on October 31st and November 1st. In response, the workers have staged an indefinite strike and occupation of their factory, that continues to the present day. Their demands are for the re-hiring of their fired co-workers and the cancellation of the cuts plan.

Their autonomous, grassroots struggle has been snubbed by trade unions and parties alike. Yet, it has found increasing grassroots support across the country. On December 1st, the day of the General Strike in Greece, people gathered in solidarity at the factory and on Saturday, December 3d a solidarity motorcycle demonstration was organised (see poster and post below). In the city of Volos, on the day of the General Strike, supermarkets looted – by people who left a communique behind, stating that the looted goods will be sent to the striking workers as a concrete gesture of solidarity.

Those who may wish to support the strikers can use the following bank account to do so:

NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE

IBAN: GR 40 0110 2000 0000 2006 2330 152
BIC or Swift Code : ETHNGRAA ( Bank Identifier Code )

Account holder: Dimitris Liakos (member of the workers’ union committee)

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/12/04/little-stories-from-imf-run-greece-autonomous-strike-of-workers-at-steelworks-factory-in-athens-enters-its-35th-day/

bastarx

10 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

New article from Blaumachen:

http://www.blaumachen.gr/2011/12/without-you-not-a-single-cog-turns%E2%80%A6/

Mark.

10 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]_Jk6pooNckI[/youtube]

Mark.

10 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

400 workers in the steel factory of Aspropyrgos (near Athens), Halyvourgiki Inc. v Citigroup Global Markets Limited, are in their 60th day of striking, as their struggle is becoming almost emblematic for the working class of the country. Many solidarity actions, as well as events that aim at the economic and political support of the strike are taking place every week in neighborhoods and cities. Representatives from the popular assemblies of neighborhoods, grassroots worker’s unions, non-parliamentary parties of the left, anarchist collectives and social centers, as well as students and pensioners walk through the factory’s gates everyday to express their support and show their solidarity either by economic sums that are added to the striker’s autonomously organised fund or by donating food and other basic products that the strikers need...

http://www.anarkismo.net/article/21610

Mark.

10 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Today, January 17th marks a very important date in the recent history of labour struggle in Greece – responding to, and in solidarity with the struggle of the workers at Greek Steelworks, the six Labour Centres of Greater Athens (Attica) and the Workers/Employees Union of Athens have called a city-wide strike.

Approximately 15,000 people took to the streets of the city on the day. What follows below is an excerpt from the text issued by base unions, workers groups, workers and unemployed in their call for the strike:

For the past two-and-a-half months, the caldrons of the Greek Steelworks remain unlit – but class war has been ignited instead.  The terrorising by the boss Manesis, with his tens of firings and his plan for employment in turns, has been cancelled out in practice and shattered in the face of the unity and fighting spirit of the tenacious workers and in the face of the river of solidarity, an oxygen-feed for the continuing strike.

For two and half months at the “Gates of Fire” [title of an independent documentary on the strike, in Greek] the striking workers show us the way of struggle. A struggle that has inspired the unpaid workers at the Loukisa factory, who have been denied their wages for the past month. The struggle that strengthens the workers at ALTER TV station, unpaid for months, those at the Eleftherotypia newspaper; it strengthens the resistance of workers at Notos Galleries struggling against employment in turns; it led the workers at the factories of AGNO and MEVGAL to victory.

The bosses, after the troika and the greek strate paved them the way, believed they could easily in the midst of the crisis suck out the last remains of the blood of the exploited. They have started to be contradicted by reality.

Now, more than ever, we must promote class solidarity and our common struggle. We must all, workers, unemployed, locals and migrants, not merely stand in solidarity with these struggles, but we must turn every workplace into a pole of struggle, without waiting anything from party or syndicalist bureaucracies.

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2012/01/17/athens-sees-its-first-city-wide-strike-as-workers-begin-to-break-away-from-the-control-of-reformist-trade-unions/

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Troika: slash salaries and wages by 25%

The troika has told the finance and labour ministers that the country’s labour system must be radically overhauled and that salaries and pensions must be cut by a quarter.
 
The demand was made at a meeting late on Thursday between troika inspectors, headed by the IMF’s Poul Thomson, and Evangelos Venizelos and Yiorgos Koutroumanis.

soc

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

FYI

redsdisease

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hospital workers in Kilkis will be occupying and managing their hospital:
http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2012/02/05/kilkis-northern-greece-occupation-and-self-management-of-the-citys-general-hospital-by-the-workers/

On February 6th the workers will serve only hospital emergencies until full payment of their wages and recovery of their income in the pre-Troika level. However, being fully aware of their social mission and moral commitments associated with their professions, they will protect people’s health that come in to the hospital, providing free care to those in need.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From the Athens News

Parties face troika deadline at noon

The leaders of the three coalition parties must tell the European Union on Monday whether they accept the painful terms of a new bailout deal to avoid a messy default that could threaten the country's future in the eurozone.
[...]
Prime Minister Lucas Papademos said after five hours of talks on Sunday that party chiefs had agreed measures including wage cuts and other reforms as part of spending cuts worth 1.5 percent of gross domestic product.
 
But Pasok spokesman Panos Beglitis said a number of major issues demanded by the troika, representing EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund lenders, remained unresolved.

"There are two big issues left – labour and banks ... those have been left for tomorrow," Beglitis said.
[…]
Newspapers Ta Nea and Imerisia wrote on Monday, without naming their sources, that holiday bonuses in the private sector would be maintained but that the minimum wage would likely be cut to 600 euros from about 750 euros.
 
Ta Nea added that the European Union and IMF were also pushing for a 35 percent cut in supplementary pensions, another sticking point in the talks.
[…]

Nationwide general strike on Tuesday

A nationwide general strike has been called on Tuesday by the country's two major umbrella federations, in opposition to the “storm of new measures being advanced by the coalition and the troika".
 
The General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), which represents the private sector, and public sector Adedy have also called on all working people to take part in a protest demonstration to Syntagma Square, in central Athens, that will start at 11am.
 
In a statement, Adedy said that the agreement between the coalition party leaders and Prime Minister Lucas Papademos “will deprive the public services (mainly the health and education sectors) of resources” and “intensifies the vicious circle of recession”.
 
It described Tuesday's strike as "the first strike of a new struggle that will escalate and intensify against the new loan agreement of the government and troika, which is leading people to despair".

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From Occupied London

People take to the streets, Syntagma metro station re-opens after popular pressure: emergency General Strike underway, against 20% wage decreases and other shock doctrine measures

As the troika ‘negotiates’ (read: reads out already agreed measures with the government ‘representatives’), people are taking to the streets for an emergency General Strike against new measures that will allegedly include a 20% decrease in the national minimum wage and a subsequent cut in the unemployment benefit, among many others.

At approximately 11.30 GMT+2 the metro station in Syntagma re-opened, following a protest outside the police HQ against its closure. The operation of the metro stations is crucial in allowing people to attend the demonstrations; in the past few general strikes police have attempted to turn their closure into a regular practice.

Information on the strike day as it comes.

-----

Athens News: Press Watch, Feb 7

Today’s general strike by the country’s biggest umbrella unions is a response to the misery – and increasing cases of outright poverty – wrought by the measures being insisted on by creditors. The troika has effectively razed all labour rights, slashed wages and pensions, and removed any semblance of sovereignty and national dignity from Greece.

Despite the press celebrations about preserving employees’ holiday bonuses (the two monthly salaries that for decades have been factored into the cost of labour), many analysts stressed that the reduction in the minimum wage and the side-tracking of sectoral contracts (profession-wide) will lead to equally deep wage cuts in the private sector.

-----

Guardian: live updates

soc

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Guardian was talking about some tear gas deployment and that the Syntagma Sq was cleared. I guess that means there was some clashes between the riot police and the protesters. In the Guardian report it says there was 10.000 people for protesting. As they put it:
Helena Smith

Strikes and protests have, like so much else in Greece, become a bit of a luxury. Public and private sector workers lose a day's pay every time they participate in industrial action – money that many cannot afford to do without.

I have the feeling that on a different scale but this is going on in Europe. Days of actions and similar tactics are rendered impossibly difficult by the same austerity measures that they are trying to resist.

I don't want to run ahead much, but it seem that recently, with the gradual disappearance of the occupy sites, the lack of "days of actions" along with the steadily rising "market confidence" signals the end of the most recent battles against the austerity regime. Though the counter-example could be Romania where the political pressure of the protests were significant enough to make the PM resign, but I have no doubts that even in the Romanian case it doesn't really mean that the government that be would abandon the cuts, as it was exactly the Greek case, where the PM went in to some dodgy political game, which resulted his resignation, but the government agenda goes on under the umbrella of "unity government" informed by the EU institutions.

Would that mean that the recently slightly increased radical political activity will go down along with the mainstream unions protests, or perhaps this is just the beginning of a new phase? Do you think there's a possibility for the radical, explicitly anti-capitalist movements to inspire further struggles?

Valeriano Orob…

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have the feeling that on a different scale but this is going on in Europe. Days of actions and similar tactics are rendered impossibly difficult by the same austerity measures that they are trying to resist.

In the london riots thread i said that we should be careful in sanctimoniously condemning the looters because we still didn't know if in the future, many of us would have to do the very same thing just to eat...I think the above quote clears that many will become closer to the looter's tactics wether we like it or not, even if simply to be able to carry on fighting more than to get a brand new plasma tv...Not yet but is getting closer and closer...How many? haven't got a clue

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

soc

In the Guardian report it says there was 10.000 people for protesting.

The Athens News says 25,000, but still it looks low-key compared to demos last year.

[youtube]MvvU6LKt_fc[/youtube]

redsdisease

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What was the flag they were unfurling at .57? It looked like it had a swastika on it.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, they burnt a German flag but had some trouble with it, maybe because of the rain. I think the idea was to burn the Nazi flag as well.

The Athens News

Hundreds of protesters chanting "Nazis Out!" clashed with police outside parliament during a general strike rally against austerity.

Police used pepper spray against the protesters, who burned a German flag, during a brief flare-up of violence at the rally which was joined by some 25,000 people despite the heavy rainfall.

It might be clearer in this video.

[youtube]Gi3mNDWkb4w[/youtube]

Demonstrating in the rain.

[youtube]CLSzzG8g7eI[/youtube]

Entdinglichung

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2012/02/09/general-strike-10-11-feb-2012/

General Strike 10-11 Feb 2012

Papadimos the banker who was appointed as Prime Minister together with the leaders of the parties that participate in the coalition government: Karatzaferis (of the extreme right LAOS), Papandreou (of social democrat PASOK) and Samaras (of the centre-right ND) decided for new austerity measures, incl. universal decrease of salaries 22% and the end of permanent employment status.

Yesterday Eurostat announced that 27.7% of Greeks lives already below the poverty line and today the Hellenic Statistics announced that unemployment in Nov 2011 climbed above 20% and all these just two years since the loan agreement between the Greek Government and IMF/EU/ECB.

This morning the workers in the Organisation of Housing Projects (OEK) occupied the building of the organisation and a group of them just occupied the Ministry of Labour in Stadiou street. Hospital nurses and doctors are rallying in front of the Ministry of Health while marches have been called this afternoon to various cities of the country by workers centres and unions. Athens Law School was occupied to establish an actions centre, the occupation just issued the first announcement titled: “In order to liberate from debt let’s destroy the economy” calling for a march at 18:00 in Athens University Propylea on Panepistimiou street.

Unions also called for a 48-hour general strike on Friday Feb. 10 and Saturday Feb. 11. A call is circulated for rally in Syntagma Square on Sunday Feb. 12.

subprole

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

this link is working:
http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2012/02/09/48-hour-general-strike-announced-for-february-10-11/

The first details of the new memorandum have already surfaced: Papadimos, the banker-appointed-prime-minister, together with the leaders of the parties that participate in the coalition government (Karatzaferis, of the extreme right LAOS), Papandreou , of social-democrat PASOK and Samaras, of the right-wing ND) have just agreed on yet another round of austerity measures, including universal decrease of salaries 22% and the end of permanent employment status, severe cuts in pension funds and the immediate sacking of thousands of public sector employees.

The two mainstream trade unions in Greece (GSEE and ADEDY) announced a 48-hour General Strike for Friday and Saturday (February 10 and 11), while a call is circulating for a rally at Syntagma Square on Sunday Feb. 12. The stalinist trade union, PAME, is calling for demonstrations today in cities across Greece.

There will be absolutely no public transportation in Athens tomorrow or Saturday, except for ISAP (metro green line, only running 10am-5pm both days).

On Tuesday, Eurostat announced that 27.7% of people in Greece already live below the poverty line. On Wednesday, the country’s official statistical service, Hellenic Statistics, announced that in November 2012 unemployment reached above 20% — all this only two years after the original loan agreement between the greek government and IMF/EU/ECB.

This morning the workers in the Organisation of Housing Projects (OEK) occupied the building of the organisation and a group of them just occupied the Ministry of Labour in Stadiou street. Hospital nurses and doctors are rallying in front of the Ministry of Health while marches have been called this afternoon in various cities of the country by workers centres and unions. In Athens, the Law School was occupied to act as a base for action. The occupation just issued the first announcement titled: “In order to liberate ourselves from debt we must destroy the economy” calling for a march at 18:00 in Athens University Propylea on Panepistimiou Ave.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

soc

In the Guardian report it says there was 10.000 people for protesting. As they put it:

Helena Smith

Strikes and protests have, like so much else in Greece, become a bit of a luxury. Public and private sector workers lose a day's pay every time they participate in industrial action – money that many cannot afford to do without.

I have the feeling that on a different scale but this is going on in Europe. Days of actions and similar tactics are rendered impossibly difficult by the same austerity measures that they are trying to resist.

These entries from the Teacher Dude blog seem to support this pessimistic view:

As Greece drifts towards disaster, what happens next?

As the negotiations between Athens and the country's creditors over the terms of the next austerity measures wind up there is a growing sense on the internet and in the streets that Greece is tipping over into disaster. While it's easy to get carried away by the hyperbole and hysteria that accompanies much of the reporting of the present situation the reality may indeed be living up to the feverish imaginations of headline writers.

In terms of numbers unemployment has continued to climb as the number of businesses going under increases, this in part the result of falling incomes and a series of crushing demands by Athens for more and more tax revenue. The irony is that each increase in either direct taxation such as that on properties or indirect via VAT has brought less and less money into government coffers. Yesterday's Greek Finance Ministry report showed that instead of an expected rise in revenue Greece's income has dropped by.

At every single turn price hikes have resulted in fall of consumption, even for items as basic as heating oil, as people either do without or turn to alternative sources such as wood often illegally logged from the country's forests.

Yet despite all evidence to the contrary, the European Union and in particular the German political leadership is insisting on yet more cuts in public spending on pensions and health, more job losses and a drastic cut in the minimum wage. Hardly surprising, given this and the years of vilification the German right wing press Greeks are becoming more open to anti-German feeling, as witnessed by the burning of a German flag outside parliament during yesterday's demonstrations in Athens. While many have been quick to condemn such actions such sentiments are the exception rather than the rule as anger, frustration and indignation replace calmer analysis.

In response to the latest cuts trade unions called a general strike for Tuesday with limited results, many public sector employees carried on working while the turnout for marches was low, with just a few thousand participating in Athens and Thessaloniki. Some argued that the last minute nature of the call combined with unusually low temperatures were to blame. However, I believe there is a growing despondency which has taken hold of people, the conviction that whatever they do nothing will change, fed by the fact that after two years of austerity and four years of economic decline marches, strikes and other protests have not succeeded in halting the malaise.

This, however, should not be mistake for acceptance, no matter how grudging, of the new economic measures, anger over those and disgust with the current political system is greater than ever. It's is now an article of faith that no member of government can appear in public without presence of riot police units to protect them from their own voters, sometimes even members of their own party. What people lack is a focus for their frustration and the possibility that they can change the present situation.

With the dissolution of established forms of protests and dissent there is a growing danger that popular anger will explode in ways that cannot be directed or contained in the traditional way and with unpredictable consequences. With money drying up and families resources dwindling more and more people will be open to any suggestion, no matter how radical or extreme that offers them even a glimmer of hope for the future.

What we've lost - A personal account of the crisis in Greece

Greeks take to the streets after austerity agreement

soc

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Somehow I was reminded by the current situation of Greece to one of my earliest reading, Emile Zola's Germinal. Workers of the coal mine launch a strike during the reign of Napoleon the Third because of the miserable conditions and pay. After their union budget wears out the starvation kicks in, which results in violent actions against the company's property, and against the Belgian strike-breakers that were sent to the mine. The government provide troops for protecting the mining sites and the Belgian workers, and at a major confrontation the soldiers open fire to the crowd. At the end, the starvation and the brutal treatment forces the workers to accept the new contract and go back to work. As the people of the mining town pick up work again, the nihilist-anarchist Russian engineer sabotaged the structural columns of the mine, and the tunnels collapse, and the whole mine submerge with heavy death toll and workers trapped underground.

This story resonates to most of the workers' struggles in history, but especially fit to the situation in Greece. My fear is that the extreme poverty and fatigue of struggle would drive the workers in Greece to flee in to the arms of the popular far-right with its nationalist and racist agenda, similarly to the Hungarian situation where there were not even chance to any workers' movement, let alone revolutionary movement due to the Eastern-Europe issue with the whole notion of class war. It's truly saddening and I hope that the workers in Greece would not be trapped under the establishment that is running ahead to its total collapse.

[Update]: Looking at the developments in Athens and elsewhere, this is going to be perhaps the most crucial moment for what's gonna happen in the next couple of decades with them. I guess the insurrection just won't happen due the reasons above, but to avoid the long term poverty, there would be no other way to go.
Occupied London

14.13 GMT+2 Chaotic scenes around Syntagma, with people arrested in the side streets. A block of a few hundreds is still standing before the parliament building. On Ermou Street, people are fighting back, hurdling stones.
14.10 GMT+2 At least one demonstrator seriously injured by the police.
13.35 GMT+2 Clashes between demonstrators and police in Syntagma, many molotov cocktails thrown at police, who launch a full-scale attack

Guardian

11.47am: Riot police in Syntagma Square have clashed with demonstrators in the last few minutes.

Helena Smith reports that tear gas has been deployed, as "running battles" break out between protesters and the police on the steets of Athens.

Reuters reports that youths have been "throwing stones and petrol bombs".

Caiman del Barrio

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hey guys, while I understand the pessimism, and I don't wanna draw false dichotomies between 'activism' and working class self-organisation (neither the practice nor the poster ;) ), but surely Soc's point about poverty and desperation leading to lower numbers on demos etc is more useful as an illustration of the alienated, spectacular nature of setpiece city centre demos? I mean, it was different back in October when there were several thousand workers mobilised and willing to storm Parliament to block an austerity bill, but these sorts of highly symbolic actions (which - at best - are attempts to 'raise consciousness', something I'd find pretty patronising if I was one of the 30% odd of Greeks below the poverty line) don't in themselves offer any solutions to the crisis, so why would you lose a day's pay?

Personally speaking, I'd place much more significance in the occupied hospital and look for evidence of that developing and/or spreading, rather than counting heads on A to B marches. I'd even go as far to say that if people are laughing off the demos to go into work and organise occupations then that's a positive development.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Coverage on Occupied London

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/tag/february-10-11-general-strike/

soc

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Caiman del Barrio

Hey guys, while I understand the pessimism, and I don't wanna draw false dichotomies between 'activism' and working class self-organisation (neither the practice nor the poster ;) ), but surely Soc's point about poverty and desperation leading to lower numbers on demos etc is more useful as an illustration of the alienated, spectacular nature of setpiece city centre demos? I mean, it was different back in October when there were several thousand workers mobilised and willing to storm Parliament to block an austerity bill, but these sorts of highly symbolic actions (which - at best - are attempts to 'raise consciousness', something I'd find pretty patronising if I was one of the 30% odd of Greeks below the poverty line) don't in themselves offer any solutions to the crisis, so why would you lose a day's pay?

Personally speaking, I'd place much more significance in the occupied hospital and look for evidence of that developing and/or spreading, rather than counting heads on A to B marches. I'd even go as far to say that if people are laughing off the demos to go into work and organise occupations then that's a positive development.

My point wasn't about the demos themselves, it was a poor turnout for the strike day. The other thing is, that I am aware of the hospital occupations etc. but it was going on for a while now, and to me (as a complete outsider, hanging on the news updates) it seems that all kind of militancy is in decline in Greece. I agree with you on the spectacular and symbolical events, but I think there's always a correlation between the militant mass demonstrations on these symbolical places and the resistance elsewhere in the social life. It is especially related because the state now appears the single most important enforcer of the worsening conditions of the proletarians in Greece, which poses more threat on people who are engage in any kind of direct action, strike, etc..

Having said this, I want to clarify, that I'm not definitely pessimistic about the situation in Greece completely, as my original question supposed to suggest that I think there's an alternative to the apathy: and that would be the rising tide of more radical movements, because the bred-and-butter struggles appear to be useless against the austerity regime.

In any case, I would like to point out a "benefit night" tonight:

I hope some of you will attend and we can discuss the developments!

ocelot

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On the "downturn" thing. 300 people in Europe froze to death last week in a wave of Siberian weather. Give people a bit of a chance, like. When there's no people on the streets when it's warm and sunny again, then fair enough. (Fair play to the Romanians for demonstrating through the blizzards, tho...)

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Going off this Athens News report the coalition government shows signs of falling apart:

Cabinet walkouts deepen crisis, force reshuffle

-----

From Contra Info

Greece: First day of nationwide protest mobilization

-----

From Occupied London

Mental health workers continue the occupation of the Ministry of Health: statement and call for support

Popular mobilisations in Greece continue, as rumours regarding the date of the voting of the new memorandum go wild

After a full day of demonstrations in Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Chania, Kavala, Mytilini, Volos and Trikala, yet more demonstrations are planned for all the major cities tomorrow (Saturday). The major build-up however seems to be for Sunday, the alleged day of the voting of the new memorandum in parliament. While the banker-led government already seems to have serious ‘leaks’ (of MPs probably unwilling to sacrifice their personal safety for another vote), it is still unclear when the voting will take place. Originally planned for Sunday, the voting is -according to certain mass media- possibly being postponed for Monday. Whatever the date, the next few days are already promising to be some of the most crucial in recent years.

-----

Photos

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

More photos

Anger as parliament votes on bailout (Athens News)

“So it’s final now…” statement by Real Democracy Now

So it’s final now…

The masks have completely fallen… IMF, EU officials and “our” government (the non-elected, ex-banker new prime minister with his 3 political allies, main responsible for this crisis  & ruling for the last 40 years) has decided yesterday for a 3rd even harder, more destructive package of austerity measures which will turn Greece to the country it was just after the 2nd World War…

The new salaries after this agreement will reach around 350 euros in a country with an increased living cost (and one among the countries with the highest food, fuel, services prices)… The cuts in the last 2 years have reached more than 50% of the average salary income, while Greek banks are getting millions of euros and big corporations are paying ever less taxes… Debt, on the other hand is getting ever bigger as the economy is paralyzed… A dead-end policy…

In a country of 10 million 4.000 people lose their jobs every day, the homeless in the streets of Athens have increased rapidly the last 5-6 months. Homeless people who until recently had a house and a normal life…

We need your solidarity. 
Spread the news, don’t believe in the corporate media.
 There is a call for 48hrs general strike and protest for the next 3 days.
 Greece is just the experiment of an economical model that will be used for all of us.

No more "saviors”…

Lets take our lives in our own hands!

Take action now!

RedEd

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Police union threatens to arrest EU and IMF officials http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/02/10/uk-greece-police-idUKTRE8190UO20120210

Entdinglichung

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

RedEd

Police union threatens to arrest EU and IMF officials http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/02/10/uk-greece-police-idUKTRE8190UO20120210

A police union official said the threat to 'refuse to stand against' fellow Greeks was a symbolic expression of solidarity and did not mean police would halt their efforts to stop protests getting out of hand.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Entdinglichung

RedEd

Police union threatens to arrest EU and IMF officials http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/02/10/uk-greece-police-idUKTRE8190UO20120210

A police union official said the threat to 'refuse to stand against' fellow Greeks was a symbolic expression of solidarity and did not mean police would halt their efforts to stop protests getting out of hand.

.
[youtube]UcGyLIp9iHg[/youtube]

(July 2011, taken from http://teacherdudebbq.blogspot.com/)

.

(yesterday)

RedEd

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Of course ACAB, but I thought it was an interesting development.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

RedEd - I agree really, it just seemed like a good opportunity to post up that video.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From Occupied London

Athens and all major greek cities build up for crucial demonstrations of February 12

Reaching a climax of three days of mobilisations across the country, thousands are preparing to take to the streets on Sunday to demonstrate against the voting in parliament of the new memorandum between the troika and the greek government.

In Athens, neighbourhood assemblies are calling for pre-demonstration gatherings in Pagrati, Exarcheia, Brahami, Kerameikos, Kalithea and Peristeri, between 3 and 5 pm (all calls here). The main call is for 6pm at Syntagma square, at the same time when parliament will be called to vote in the new agreement. Anarchists, leftists, neighbourhood groups, anti-austerity campaigners and trade unionists are now joined in by football fans who have issued a common call (beyond particular teams) to march together against the memorandum.

Updates from the streets as they come.

“Tomorrow you’be caught by surprise”

“In order to save the banks from bankruptcy, they’ve thrown us into poverty and unemployment. They sold off our country and all that belongs to us. Switch off your TV, take to the streets, for victory!”

Meanwhile the political crisis within the government continues, with some MPs from both PASOK and ND saying they will vote against. It's still expected to be voted through though.

wojtek

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A Eurobank and Starbuck set ablaze atm, updates and live feed from Syntagma Square:

http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/53244

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Occupied London updates from Athens: part 1 | part 2

Occupied London

Tens of banks and other buildings are burning across Athens after today’s demonstrations. There are huge riots in Thessaloniki and Patra as well. The situation seems to be spiralling out of control. We will try to summarise key developments through the night.

radiobubble.gr live blog

radiobubble.gr

01:00 Recap of the day's main events

"Greece en rage", might be an accurate description of what happened today.

Several preventive detentions in Athens took place before even the demo starts.

Massive turnout as expected.The crowd was dispersed very early though, around 17:30-18:00 when tensions aroused on the front side of the demo and riot police officers started hurling teargas to repel demonstrators on the lower side of the square.

The demo was split, but protesters remained en masse in the nearby roads, to avoid clouds of tear gas filling the air...which was literally unbearable. With sheer determination they attempted to get back on the spot but riot squad tactics were aimed at halting the demo. This cat-and-mouse chase kept for 3,5 hours.

There were reports by journalists of policemen attacking on random people, protesting peacefully.

Paul Mason, the BBC correspondent was attacked by a bunch of far right protesters as they thought he was German. The worst was prevented thanks to other people's intervention.

Clashes spread across the city, with banks, retail outlets and a cinema hall of historical importance, set on fire. Estimated number of burned buildings at 10.

100 people suffered injuries and 23 have been detained.

In Thessaloniki 28.000 people demonstrated (including PAME members) and clashes broke out between protesters and riot police as well.

-----

The austerity bill has been voted through.

The Athens News

01:24 Antonis Samaras has expelled 21 MPs from his New Democracy parliamentary party! That leaves ND with 62 MPs.

George Papandreou has expelled the same number from Pasok.

And, finishing the Night of the Long Knives, Makis Voridis and Adonis Georgiadis have been expelled from the Popular Orthodox Rally.

01:19 In the final tally, 199 MPs voted in favour and 74 against the second bailout memorandum.

01:05 Parliament voted in favor of new austerity bill. All of KKE, Syriza and Democratic Left MPs voted No, as well as 21 New Democracy MPs (one in four- ND has 83 MPs in total) and 13 Pasok MPs. Laos MPs voted No, leader absent, the two former ministers voted Yes. All but one Democratic Alliance MPs voted Yes.

Guardian report also here

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Telegraph

http://twitter.com/#!/teacherdude/

subprole

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BURN YOU FUCKERS!
[youtube]xVfyAPlJXUI[/youtube]

wojtek

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

When I was in the local pizzeria waiting for my takeout, I heard the lady on BBC News draw a false dichotomy between anarchists and 'normal' people with regards the violence. I think the dude making my food was perturbed by this as well, cos he switched over to the Inter Milan game soon after. ;)

no.25

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

subprole

BURN YOU FUCKERS!
[youtube]xVfyAPlJXUI[/youtube]

The Greeks are so fucking radical!

subprole

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Greeks are so fucking radical!

No, it is only because the »Greek riot policemen have a tendency to crack under pressure!«:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFzBW0dZsaU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXjhhVbO0qk

no.25

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

First video is funny.

So you're saying that the Greek protestors would refrain from more violent acts of direct action, if the riot police used more brutal methods to repress them? Given the economic conditions in Greece, I think that it could possibly have an opposite effect. In some instances, police brutality tends to radicalize the working class (that's if you don't accuse the participants of being 'petit-bourgeois anarchists,' who don't conform to your standards of respectable organization) into more overt acts of revolutionary activity. Look at what took place in London and Oakland.

Some people may say that modes of activity such as these protests are marginalizing or whatever, but in the right conditions, an assault against the state and capital are only the beginning.

subprole

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I couldn't be serious about it if you have read it in combination with the video, but that's the problem with discussions in a forum.
Just in case you haven't noticed: police brutality in Greece has already radicalised many proletarians and youths - not only anarchists (anarchism in Greece is in many ways different from anarchism anywhere else) and not only since 2008.
As many people in Greece say, the current situation still far away from revolutionary escalation.

no.25

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ahh, yeah, I didn't see it in the comment section, my bad. The events in Greece that have been unfolding for quite some time have been interesting to watch, so I am at least somewhat aware of what's been taking place. That US imperialism wants to have a hand in increasing its militarization is not in the least bit surprising, and if social revolution occurs in Greece, the US will of course have to orchestrate the counter-revolutionary nuisance that it embodies, directly or indirectly. People in Greece may say that revolution is somewhere off in the distance, but from where I'm at, it looks a hell of a lot closer than what we are. Actual revolt is a lot more sporadic, and the day cops are molotoved will be something else. I guess it's all a matter of context.

When I referenced the concept of 'proper organization,' I wasn't actually referring to you. You probably know this, but I just want to ensure there isn't any miscommunication taking place.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A post by Dimitris on the urban75 thread - follow link for more photos and videos

First of all. A video that the media will not show you:

[youtube]aWEVNGcwInE[/youtube]

What you see there is police on motorcycles (DIAS force) storming in the crowd. You will also see that the street (Mitropoleos str) is full of people and that it is nighttime.... when the most corporate media were saying that there was no people on the streets.

The police knowing that the most cameras and live streams would be showing the parliament square, were actively trying during the whole evening and night to prevent loads of people from taking over the square. Therefore for everyone watching the news it seemed that there was not a lot of people in yesterday's demo. The reality of course is very different. ALL THE STREETS around the square, ALL THE CITY CENTER OF ATHENS was completely packed with people. There were so many people that it was impossible to move, it is not possible to estimate how many there were on the streets of Athens but even figures up to 1000000 (1 million) people can be justified, because of the density of the crowd on all the length of the central streets of Athens. This is also the reason that when the arsons started at various buildings in the center (more than 40 buildings got burned) it was very difficult for the fire brigade to approach those buildings because of the mass of people that were still on the streets.

Police did not attack only in the parliament square. On the nearby roads, like Ermou street (the street with the most people as it is located exactly opposite the square) police attacked with chemicals creating chaos, as the demonstrators were trying to leave but were trapped because there was nowhere to go really. On occasions riot police was picking up stones and were returning them back to the demonstrators, causing a number of injuries. This happened more often later on, because they run out of chemicals.

The whole feeling yesterday reminded me of December 2008. People of all ages on the streets, a big number of them confronting the police. You could see even middle aged men to pick up stones and throw them against the police. A lot equipped with Maalox and other anti acidic compounds who were spraying demonstrators on the face when chemicals were thrown so the people would not suffer. People cheering and clapping when petrol bombs were thrown against the police, there was even an incident of a black block fully equipped with flags helmets and petrol bombs passing through the crowd chanting going towards the parliament square in order to join the riots and the demonstrators around were clapping rhythmically and cheering as they were leaving them to pass through. It was also encouraging to watch people of all ages trying to keep the demonstrators calm when chemicals were thrown, this helped to prevent a number of panic situations that would turn even worse as people would step on each other. It clearly seemed that the most who turned up yesterday were there determined to stay on the streets no matter what was happening around them. This was more evident when you could see the demonstrators forming blocks again after receiving attacks by the police and were retaking the space they had emptied while defending the attack.

About the arsons, I have no clue how the most of them started. They were scattered on various areas on the center of Athens but seemed rather coordinated as they appeared simultaneously. Some big neoclassical buildings got burned, also banks, jewelry shops and a couple of cinemas. A lot of looting took place as well (this also reminded me of December 2008) as shops were completely destroyed and people looted them. At some buildings of multi national companies I did see for the first time private security to protect those buildings from demonstrators, this had never happened before.

As all these were happening outside, inside the parliament they were discussing of the new agreement with the Troika and the new austerity measures, although officially the big packet of the austerity measures will be voted in 15 days time. Yesterday the PSI agreement got voted and some measures, like the changes on the wages on the private sector, with a 22% decrease of the minimum wage, and a 35% decrease of the minimum wage of the young workers.

While the discussion was taking place in the parliament, some MPs were spending their time in the resting lounge of the parliament watching basketball and football games, as you can see on the following photo ...

Finally the agreement was voted with 199 YES. The coalition government has much more than 200 members in the parliament, 45 MPs of the government disagreed and voted NO so today they will all be deleted by their parties and will become independent MPs. Also the government will be reformed today as some ministers also resigned, it is possible that more technocrats rather than politicians will take place in the government formation after this development.

75 people were detained yesterday and 67 arrested, today we will see how many of them will finally face charges.

soc

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well-well, it seems that Greece now again at the border line of insurrection. It was indeed to hasty to conclude from the poor numbers of the recent strike that apathy is spreading all over.

I am actually impressed. Years of battles, repression, harassment, casualisation, existential threatening, and there were impressive numbers on the street, with the will to fight against the austerity, but in many way they are fighting against the whole political establishment too.

Given the history of the recent struggles, there's also a good chance that the Greek proletarians are pushed to the tipping point, to try to overthrow the complete political system. If the political crisis spreads just a tiny bit further, there's no doubt that Greece will default, and given the EU climate, that would bring down Portugal and Spain, and perhaps could cause a major impact on Italy. I'm not sure about Ireland, I've read only fragments how exposed they are. So there's a good chance that a Greek coup or revolution would trigger a South-European political turmoil, even possibly a revolutionary wave and/or counter-revolutionary "state of emergency".

Given that the facade is already crumbling, this could be perhaps the historical moment where the European dream willl just fall apart. Nobody can ignore the controversy here: While the workers in Greece are struggling against their government, their democratic dictatorship, the markets are happy to see these austerity steps, that are cutting to the bone.

Markets are happy = poverty and powerlessness is rising. And the liberal democracy is slowly giving way to the face-to-face authoritarianism.

soc

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Guardian

12.19pm: As if Greece didn't have enough problems, police are confirming that hackers belonging to the anti-capitalist group, Anonymous, last night managed to bring down several government sites.

Among them: the prime minister's office, finance ministry, public order ministry and police site itself, says our correspondent in Athens Helena Smith.

"Using computer programs they bombarded us with hits that slowed down all the sites dramatically," police spokesman Thanassis Kokkalakis told Helena.

"When we realised what was happening we decided for protective reasons to take down the sites ourselves."

In the case of the police's website Kokkalakis said the site was down from around 11pm Sunday through to Monday morning.

In its own blog, the group declared:

Taken Down: Major TV channel, the Greek prime minister, the national police, the ministry of finance, the Greek parliament and the minister of finance Evangelos Venizelos (personal site).

The Greek parliament has finally approved an enormously unpopular bill to secure a second EU/IMF baiklout and avoid national bankruptcy, despite buildings being set ablaze in central Athens against it. No more IMF! Stop the intervention in Greek sovereignty. If you don't give democracy a chance, you should Expect US!

[youtube]ANzFci64VuA[/youtube]

bartleby1977

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

soc

Well-well, it seems that Greece now again at the border line of insurrection. It was indeed to hasty to conclude from the poor numbers of the recent strike that apathy is spreading all over.

I am actually impressed. Years of battles, repression, harassment, casualisation, existential threatening, and there were impressive numbers on the street, with the will to fight against the austerity, but in many way they are fighting against the whole political establishment too.

Given the history of the recent struggles, there's also a good chance that the Greek proletarians are pushed to the tipping point, to try to overthrow the complete political system. If the political crisis spreads just a tiny bit further, there's no doubt that Greece will default, and given the EU climate, that would bring down Portugal and Spain, and perhaps could cause a major impact on Italy. I'm not sure about Ireland, I've read only fragments how exposed they are. So there's a good chance that a Greek coup or revolution would trigger a South-European political turmoil, even possibly a revolutionary wave and/or counter-revolutionary "state of emergency".

Given that the facade is already crumbling, this could be perhaps the historical moment where the European dream willl just fall apart. Nobody can ignore the controversy here: While the workers in Greece are struggling against their government, their democratic dictatorship, the markets are happy to see these austerity steps, that are cutting to the bone.

Markets are happy = poverty and powerlessness is rising. And the liberal democracy is slowly giving way to the face-to-face authoritarianism.

This article by Demetra Kotouza from December 2011 sees the wider Greek struggles as mired in swamp of resignation and despair rather than a revolutionary situation. In some senses, February 12th's giant burning and rioting session seems just more of the same, impressive and determined as it was. A lot of places have been occupied in the last few days throughout Greece. Maybe there is more mileage in this and the direct resistance to price rises in the form of mass looting and reconnecting cut off electric supplies, public non-payments of travel and road tolls and so on. Trouble is all the focus gets put on the fire and the flames.

http://www.metamute.org/editorial/articles/illegitimacy-demands

soc

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bartleby1977

soc

Well-well, it seems that Greece now again at the border line of insurrection. It was indeed to hasty to conclude from the poor numbers of the recent strike that apathy is spreading all over.

I am actually impressed. Years of battles, repression, harassment, casualisation, existential threatening, and there were impressive numbers on the street, with the will to fight against the austerity, but in many way they are fighting against the whole political establishment too.

Given the history of the recent struggles, there's also a good chance that the Greek proletarians are pushed to the tipping point, to try to overthrow the complete political system. If the political crisis spreads just a tiny bit further, there's no doubt that Greece will default, and given the EU climate, that would bring down Portugal and Spain, and perhaps could cause a major impact on Italy. I'm not sure about Ireland, I've read only fragments how exposed they are. So there's a good chance that a Greek coup or revolution would trigger a South-European political turmoil, even possibly a revolutionary wave and/or counter-revolutionary "state of emergency".

Given that the facade is already crumbling, this could be perhaps the historical moment where the European dream willl just fall apart. Nobody can ignore the controversy here: While the workers in Greece are struggling against their government, their democratic dictatorship, the markets are happy to see these austerity steps, that are cutting to the bone.

Markets are happy = poverty and powerlessness is rising. And the liberal democracy is slowly giving way to the face-to-face authoritarianism.

This article by Demetra Kotouza from December 2011 sees the wider Greek struggles as mired in swamp of resignation and despair rather than a revolutionary situation. In some senses, February 12th's giant burning and rioting session seems just more of the same, impressive and determined as it was. A lot of places have been occupied in the last few days throughout Greece. Maybe there is more mileage in this and the direct resistance to price rises in the form of mass looting and reconnecting cut off electric supplies, public non-payments of travel and road tolls and so on. Trouble is all the focus gets put on the fire and the flames.

http://www.metamute.org/editorial/articles/illegitimacy-demands

Thank you for linking this article, I think it deserves some attention. However, what I've read, he comes to a slightly different conclusion. I think, we can all agree that the recent cycle of struggles can not establish a united working class front, at least not in the sense as it was envisioned by many revolutionaries, and was in front of the struggles like the ones in the revolutionary wave of 1917. The article you linked points out correctly, that the living "working class experience" is missing, and probably lost for good anyway. I would argue though, that the support of the KKE and PAME is still refer to a segment of the working class that seeks its "traditional" role within capitalism, and tries to revive the organisational forms of the past, which saw the most suitable place for struggle on the shop floor. As an ideological nostalgia addressed to the older generations of the working class and those elements who had relatively stable working conditions before the austerity regime was out in force.

It is probably a quite good approach to see segments of the working class in their own, and in their relation to the economy and the class as a whole. As a political vehicle the controlled distribution of labour became incredibly efficient weapon in the hand of the ruling class. It is controlled because it was the the state and governments who forged the policies and gave a shape of the modern class divisions. For example, the age policies. If the minimum wage is different for different age groups, it will eventually will produce a sharp division between the different generations. Or the education, where the students of the last one-two decade saw the gap raised between them and those generations who had their education funded by the state. The declining of the living standards therefore affect these subdivisions in completely different way and resulting a fragmented movement against the austerity regime, and the reproduction crisis.

But there's a room here for a revolutionary perspective. In fact, I would argue that similar situations in history are able to produce coherent revolutionary movement. This could be the time, when the reproduction crisis (bread-and-butter struggles) and the loss of perspectives and shattered pictures of democratic resolution of this turmoil could give a birth of a fundamentally radical, far reaching movement.

KriegPhilosophy

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Greece has a tendency to restore my revolutionary vigor.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bartleby1977

Demetra Kotouza ... sees the wider Greek struggles as mired in swamp of resignation and despair rather than a revolutionary situation.

I think she's probably right about this.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interview in Vice Magazine: Somehow Athens just got worse

The interviewee makes a distinction between 'hooligans' and 'anarchists, I don't know with what accuracy.

What happened to you last night?

I got cornered by a platoon at some point on Panepistimiou Street – two Molotov cocktails exploded to the left and the right of me, and that’s when the riot police caught sight of me – they thought I was a journalist because I was carrying my camera. There must have been about 15 of them. One of them beat me to the ground – I was wearing a gas mask, so it hurt. He then kicked me and told me to get lost. As I was leaving, I managed to get a few kicks from the rest of the gang, too.

Ouch. How did it all start yesterday?
There were thousands of people protesting yesterday - the numbers I heard started from 20,000 and reached 200,000. But hooligans came down, and they operate in a completely different way to the other protesters. They don’t believe in anything but the law of the street. So, buildings were burned and shops were looted. They burned Attikon cinema, for God’s sake [a cultural landmark for Athenians] – the owner was injured trying to save it and is in the hospital now.
[…]
How does the hooligans' behaviour differ from the anarchists'?

Hooligans shouldn’t be mistaken for the anarchists. The anarchists fight symbolically, in order to express their opposition to the measures taken by the State. They only hit banks, or places like Starbucks. The hooligans raided small shops. I was even prevented from driving through a street on my bike by a guy who warned me that they were stopping motorcycles so they could take the petrol and use it for bombs. At one point, I was following a group of about 50 anarchists – they were all dressed in black and armed to the teeth – and as they were passing through the smaller streets which are filled with shops and cars they’d shout, “Do not burn or break anything! Οnly break the roads and the stairs for ammo.” That’s what an anarchist does and they have my respect for that. I could be mistaken, but that’s what I saw.
[…]

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From Occupied London

A summary of anti-austerity demonstrations of 12/02/2012

There are various estimations about the number of the people concentrated on the streets and squares of the country. Athens had anything over 500,000 people on the streets, it is not easy to estimate it, but before the attack of the police every street leading to Syntagma and the square were packed, with thousands more coming from the neighbourhoods on foot or by buses and trains. Half an hour before the demo one could see the metro stations and the bus stops full of people waiting to get on a vehicle that would bring them to the centre. Every city saw rallies and mass marches, with Heraclion of Crete, a city that holds a record in the recent wave of suicides, having a 30,000-strong march. Demonstrations all around the country turned violent, with people destroying banks or occupying governmental buildings, e.g. in Volos the branch of Eurobank, the Inland Revenue Offices and the town hall were torched or in Corfu people attacked to the offices of their region’s MPs, trashing them, the town hall of Rhodes was occupied during the demo and still is occupied, to mention but a few of such actions.

Police did several preemptive arrests in the morning hours before the start of the demonstration. Several activists were attacked by police officers in plain clothes and were detained as soon as they came out of their houses, while it was obvious since very early that police wanted to keep people away from the parliament. In there the new austerity package (an over 600-page document that was given to the MPs 24 hours in advance with the advice to vote for it before Monday morning when the stock markets will open) was being “discussed”. Early afternoon when the occupiers of Law School tried to march from the School to Syntagma the police attacked to them breaking the block, while they attempted to raid the School several times during the night, using also rubber bullets. Well before the arrival of most demonstrators who were still on their way, the police attacked en masse the crowd in Syntagma Square using physical violence, chemical gases and shock grenades. After the attack a big part of the demonstration was concentrated on Amalias st, Fillelinon st, Ermou st, Mitropoleos st and Karagiorgi Servias st. People battled with police for over 5 hours in their effort to return to Syntagma. Other people erected big barricades across Korai sq. on both Stadiou st and Panepistimiou st. and fought trying to reach Syntagma or defend themselves from police attacks. On Panepistimiou st. police concentrated much of its forces on the barricade in front of Athens University and people clashed head to head defending their barricade. DELTA motorcycle police raided several times the crowd, esp. in Mitropoleos street, MAT riot police did the same several times but also things went the other way around. Besides the barricades and the substantial groupings of people, demonstrators broke in various smaller groups that clashed with small groups of police or walked around searching for a barricade or to join a larger group.

After midnight the majority of the parliamentarians (199) voted for the new austerity memorandum that -among other measures- includes the drop of salaries by 22% and drops the minimum salary at about 400 Euro per month, while unemployment rate has been doubled (over 20% in Nov 2011) within 16 months.

74 demonstrators were arrested and over 50 people injured by the police were hospitalised, the number of detainees remains unknown.

Several banks, governmental buildings and two police departments (Acropolis and Exarchia depts.) were attacked by demonstrators during the night, while Athens city hall was occupied, but police concentrated forces invaded the building and arrested the occupiers. Over 40 buildings were burnt in Athens, while occupations of public buildings still are holding all around Greece. The Law School occupation issued a statement in early morning of 13/02/2012: “It was decided by the assembly of the Law School occupation that the occupation continues. We call everyone on the streets to continue the struggle. Nothing ended, everything now starts, the Law School is a centre of the struggle and as such it will remain”.

-----

Teacher Dude reports from Thessaloniki

no.25

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

KriegPhilosophy

Greece has a tendency to restore my revolutionary vigor.

The austerity measures are horrible in themselves, but I can't help but feel joy every time I see the Greek working class taking it to the streets after getting fucked over for so long. Those who assert that the Greeks are just going to resign themselves to accepting these measures and go about business as usual after blowing off some steam are cynics, social revolution arises from extreme antagonisms that exist between the working class and economic/political conditions; the conditions in Greece being almost perfect for its propagation, as if it already hasn't taken place.

If Greece were to ignite revolutionary activity throughout Europe, it would be just outright amazing. A collapse of the EU would definitely have an impact on our economy, and a decline in our conditions beyond the mitigation of capital would radicalize more of the working class, forcing it to shake itself out of its pacifistic complacency, especially amongst the liberal elements who see non-violence as the only justifiable means.

One can dream in a teleological manner, right? My post may across as somewhat naive, but frankly, I don't give a shit. Hope is what keeps me sane in a world of madness, and the inspiration of the working class taking action against the ruling class is what gives me hope.

Ambrose

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Let's stop wishing and start actually doing. Greece is such a great opportunity to start autonomous collectives and Free free markets that reading about the turmoil makes me hard with envy.

While I don't know of anything "on the ground" I have a huge feeling that anarchists are conspicuously inactive. Hell there should be black blocs defending those protesters, and there's just enough militant people out there to confront the police and actually win

ElusiveElla

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

bartleby1977

Demetra Kotouza ... sees the wider Greek struggles as mired in swamp of resignation and despair rather than a revolutionary situation.

I think she's probably right about this.

Absolutely but despairity can inverse quickly and turn into a revolutionary situation. The Paris Commune is a perfect example of this.

The anti authoritarian revolutionary left in Greece needs to take advantage of this and try to inverse it. I'm not sure how they would go about it but it's definitely possible.

RedEd

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ambrose

While I don't know of anything "on the ground" I have a huge feeling that anarchists are conspicuously inactive. Hell there should be black blocs defending those protesters, and there's just enough militant people out there to confront the police and actually win

I get the opposite impression: that anarchists are doing all they can, sometimes to the point of getting themselves locked up or even killed for nothing. Anarchists are never going to be in a positions to defend protests or whatever, we are only ever going to be in a position to tell/help/facilitate people to defend themselves.

Edit: after all, if a political faction (like 'the anarchists') can make sure an action happens by regulating and supervising it, then from our point of view it shouldn't happen at all, and should be subverted by any means available.

no.25

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ambrose

Let's stop wishing and start actually doing. Greece is such a great opportunity to start autonomous collectives and Free free markets that reading about the turmoil makes me hard with envy.

While I don't know of anything "on the ground" I have a huge feeling that anarchists are conspicuously inactive. Hell there should be black blocs defending those protesters, and there's just enough militant people out there to confront the police and actually win

There's nothing we can do for proletarians other than what the most active anarchists are already doing within organized labor, which tends to subsume them into its activities. The working class will violently revolt when it's in their material interests to do so, and until these interests begin to emerge, agitators amongst the majority of proletarians are going to be perceived as extremists isolated from the sentiments of the 'nation.' Been there, done that, and those that are most afflicted by the class division and state oppression are more receptive to revolutionary concepts, i.e. 'lumpen-proletariat,' who have been revolting against their own conditions for quite some time. If anything, there needs to be more solidarity fostered amongst the segments of the working class, but this may only be possible on a macro-level when its interests begin to intersect.

Unless the entire class is comprised of anarchists and Ultra-Left Marxists, revolution is going to be a long drawn out process that is dependent upon the economic and historical conditions peculiar to its locality. Capital's ideological hegemony has been thoroughly entrenched into the minds of a significant portion of the working class in most developed nations, which impedes the inception of this process. Fucking AFL-CIO.

I'm not saying that revolutionary agitation or organizing within the working class is futile, because it certainly is not, in consideration of what's taken place over the past couple years; but for revolution to actually manifest itself, there is going to have to be a period of near unbearable conditions, which should of course be fought against, precipitating the overthrow of class society when it can no longer concede reform, such as in Greece.

We can build collectives, community centers, and dual-power, but in the wider context, we are not the revolution. We need the means of production, more than we need permaculture communism. Maybe I'll catch hell for this post, but I'm not sweating it.

Harrison

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Updates, things are sitll kicking off.

bullets from police gun found near Athens law school
http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2012/02/14/bullets-from-police-guns-were-found-in-front-of-the-law-school/

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2012/02/13/more-marches-on-1322012-in-patras-and-agrinio-calls-for-marching-tomorrow-as-well/
Occupied London

More marches on 13/2/2012 in Aigaleo, Patras and Agrinio calls for marching tomorrow as well
In Aigaleo of Athens a march was formed in early hours of 13/02/12, starting at about 01:00, as soon as it was announced that the new austerity measures were voted by the parliament.

Patras and Agrinio saw follow up marches on 13/2/2012. These turned violent. In Agrinio banks and the local offices of the far-right LAOS were trashed. In Patras demonstrators invaded and trashed the offices of the local PASOK MP Spiliopoulos who voted for the new austerity measures. Before they invaded the luxurious hotel Astir where the right wing party ND (part of the governmental coalition) had organised an event. They called for a new demo tomorrow in Patras. In Komotini the building of the Regional Government of Thrace and Eastern Macedonia has been occupied, the assembly decided for march tomorrow.

Meanwhile new videos of police attacking and trying to disperse demonstrators on 13/02 in Thessalonki were released: th
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ulgStViF5lU

Harrison

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

school students kick off
http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2012/02/14/over-500-school-students-are-marching-in-crete

Over 500 students are marching now in Heracleon of Crete hurling stones to the police and banks. They tried to invade the building of the local government and the town hall. 4 high schools in the city are occupied. More as they come.

Ambrose

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

RedEd

Edit: after all, if a political faction (like 'the anarchists') can make sure an action happens by regulating and supervising it, then from our point of view it shouldn't happen at all, and should be subverted by any means available.

Haha I agree completely! Platformism = fail. Perhaps my views are skewed by my choice of media sources. Which is simply RawStory.

And I agree with no.25 as well, to the T in fact.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]GX3Qaah7xlY[/youtube]

video from http://prezatv.blogspot.com/2012/02/video_15.html

Two persons threatening to jump off a window right now in #Greece because the government following troika orders wants to abolish #OEK.

The persons that threaten to commit suicide work at #OEK & will permanently loose their jobs, probably also their house if they have a loan.

http://twitter.com/#!/thesspirit

A man and a woman are threatening to  jump from the building of OEK (Institution of Labour Homing). The parents of a disabled child are desperate because the OEK will close down, living employees without job and income.

http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2012/02/15/whats-up-in-greece-on-feb-1512/

While dozens of demonstrators from Sunday’s demo still detained in police cells and more than 30 town halls and local government buildings are occupied by protesters, desperation continues.

2 workers of the Organisation for Council Estates (OEK), are at the moment on the roof of the Organisation’s building and are threatening to jump on the ground. The Organisation is scheduled to close down and all employees to be made redundant, since no council estates are going to be built. The building is occupied by its workers for several days now.

Greece used to be the country of EU with the lowest suicide rate, it has been doubled since the government got the IMF/EU/ECB loan. More news as they come.

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2012/02/15/employees-of-the-organisation-of-council-estates-are-threatening-to-commit-suicide-jumbing-from-the-organisatins-balcony/

Edit: from the Athens News

A woman, facing unemployment because the state agency she works for is being shut down, is threatening to kill herself by jumping off the second floor of the building.
 
Earlier in the morning, she and her husband, who works for the same agency, the Workers' Housing Organisation (OEK), climbed out onto the balcony and said they would jump.
 
The fire brigade, police and a special negotiator arrvied at the OEK building, located at the corner of Patison and 60 Solomou St, shortly afterwards and persuaded the man not to jump.
 
They are still trying to convince the woman to come in from the balcony.
 
The OEK is one of the many state agencies listed for closure under the new troika memorandum. Its officers have been under occupation by employees since Monday.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Front page of The Workers, the newspaper brought out by striking employees at Eleftherotypia, which has filed for bankruptcy

Athens News

The publication of a newspaper today by the striking employees of Eleftherotypia, which has filed for bankruptcy, captured attention.
 
The paper was entitled The Workers, and the headline read “Breakdown of the political system and the social fabric”. The issue featured an interview with filmmaker Costa-Gavras, who is quoted as saying “The banks rule”.
 
Eleftherotypia over the last two years had been the most antimemorandum Athens daily. The owner had charged that two banks, for political reasons, denied the newspaper the loans it needed to survive.

http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/53307

Edited to add:

Socialist Worker has this from Eleftherotypia workers’ committee member Moissis Litsis

We have been on strike since 22 December, and we haven’t been paid since last August. That is not unusual. Many industries leave workers unpaid. The law here is that companies near bankruptcy can stop paying workers the money they owe them.

Eleftherotypia is the second largest newspaper in Greece, and it has a radical reputation. But now its workers are set to launch our own newspaper, called The Workers in Eleftherotypia, on Wednesday.

This is part of a new wave of radicalism in the workers’ movement in Greece. We have seen many ups and downs in the movement, but now people know they need to go further.

At first workers here at Eleftherotypia were very hesitant to strike, partly because we are a left wing paper with a “different” kind of boss. But we were left unpaid and facing massive layoffs. We face a court decision on Wednesday over the future of the newspaper. Maybe we will be sold to creditors.

Since we went on strike, people have wanted a strike paper. People called it a utopian idea, but now we will make a newspaper not just for workers here but for the whole of society.

It will be produced by our 800-strong workforce. We will start with a 50,000 print run. Our usual print run is a maximum of 30,000. We want to publish our ideas. But we also need to make earnings, to try to help our strike fund.

That’s why the owner of the newspaper wants to open a new front in the war against us. He has tried cutting off our access to facilities in the office. We are not formally in occupation, but we have access to our offices and printers. And the unions are giving us money to help with the printing, so we can use a different printer if we can’t use Eleftherotypia’s. Readers have a strong connection to Eleftherotypia. They read about the opposition to the troika here. It’s time to take our newspaper into workers’ hands.

In Greece it sometimes feels like we are at war. People are without work, being fed at soup kitchens, without any security. I hope we see our strike movement continue. We need more to prevent the measures being enforced through parliament. People are very angry. There is no section of the ordinary population left unaffected by this, in either public or private sector. Even small business owners are desperate.

And without being paid for so long, we are relying on savings and money from our families and friends. This helps, but we have many desperate people.

People in Greece are encouraged to act individualistically, like in most places. But this crisis has drawn people together. People now realise that we are all in the same boat. The establishment tried to scare people—what if we are forced out of Europe, they ask. But people are not afraid any more. They have nothing to lose.

The Spanish paper Diagonal has an interview with Moissis Litsis, machine translation here.

Report in Spanish: http://www.alasbarricadas.org/noticias/node/19701

Edit2:

An Athens court Wednesday postponed until March 7 a decision on whether Eleftherotypia should be granted protection from its creditors under Greece’s bankruptcy laws.

The indebted newspaper has been given temporary protection but this does not extend to its employees, who have not been paid for several months.

Eleftherotypia journalists published an issue of the newspaper Wednesday but under the title “The Workers” (Oi ergazomenoi). The edition was on sale for 1 euro, with some of the revenues going toward the unpaid employees.

http://ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_15/02/2012_428133

soc

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Guardian

1.35pm: According to Reuters, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands are leading the push to delay Greece's bailout until April [see 1.18pm], even though the country must repay €14.5bn of maturing debt in March.

Their plan is for Greece to finalise its debt negotiation deal with its creditors (the Private Sector Involvement), which will trim €100bn off its debt pile. That would provide the resources to deal with March's debt repayment.

Of course, private creditors might be less willing to take a haircut on their bonds if Europe hasn't stumped up its portion of the deal. In that instance, the whole package would have to be rolled over to April – and the rest of the eurozone might pick up the bill in March.

Reuters explained:

This would mean we have to pay the €14.5bn on March 20, which would be a total waste," said the euro zone source, who took part in discussions among deputy heads of euro zone finance ministries on Tuesday.

This is just plain funny. Now that these politicians saw that their influence in Greece could vanish due to the possibility of a non-EU-conform government (I guess it's about the LAOS and the KKE), they actually blackmailing the Greek citizens directly: "We will fuck you up if you don't vote for the appropriate parties." There's no rival of capitalist politics in terms of stupidity.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

FT: More on leaked Greek debt deal documents

FT: Bailout 1.3 (maybe)

So here, apparently, is the new plan: 1) hold the Greek electorate directly to account (elect a government on a pro-austerity mandate or we blow you up), 2) then pay-off the bond holders (the PSI involves E30bn of sweeteners for private creditors), and 3) refuse to release further aid until there is clear evidence that the reform timetable is kept.

It looks more and more like the bailout is unravelling which leaves the question of what actually happens if Greece defaults.

-----

The Mail picked up on the OEK suicide threat story:

Lambrousi Harikleia said she would commit suicide from the second floor of the Labour Housing Organisation building which has been earmarked for closure.

The suicide threat came after Greece's Public Order Minister Christos Papoutsis had warned: 'Greece has made all the efforts that it needed to do, and the people cannot take any more.'

Local media reported that she was eventually led away to safety. But it seems unlikely the eurozone is going to have the same happy ending as today it took another step toward implosion.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I just watched Newsnight and the first half was about the possibility (or probability?) of a Greek default and the likely consequences (on iplayer tomorrow).

Entdinglichung

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://greekleftreview.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/an-absolute-refusal/

1. The 12th February demonstration in Athens, consolidated, what is becoming clearer in the past weeks: a growing majority of the Greek people support the refusal of the memorandum no.2 no matter what. In spite of the fear mongering spread by the pro-memorandum forces that a negative parliamentary vote would entail an immediate euro exit and the ensuing Africanisation of Greece, the popular support for the new EU-ECB-IMF loans and the correlated austerity measures is waning significantly. The formal political debate is increasingly based on a politics of fear: the government’s and mainstream media’s principal argumentation is stripped, on the one hand, to the bare threat of what a disorderly Greek bankruptcy would entail -invoking often assumed similarities with Greece’s plight during the World War II occupation by German and Italian troops- with basic food and medicine shortages and a lack of basic public amenities like gas, heating, electricity; on the other hand even mainstream media cannot but be critical vis-à-vis the most dismantling provisions of the memorandum no.2 for any sign of consensual legitimacy, such as the automatic decrease by 22% of minimum wages, the content and scope of collective bargaining and so on, insisting however ‘in the final analysis’ that the dilemma posed leaves only one choice.

In the current conditions, the growing impoverishment of the wider population and the collapse of state welfare structures makes this line of argumentation less and less effective. In the everyday lived experience of the wider population the spectre of destitution and the destruction of universal public services and amenities is embodied as a direct result of the austerity policies. The massive refusal of the memorandum no.2 tends thus to becoming absolute: it is consolidated beyond and besides any types of rationalisations of existing or future formal policies and calls for new beginnings that the government and financial interests can articulate. In the coming critical period, the site of openness in the political sphere relates to the struggles over what forms this absolute refusal might take and what type of political actions can be constructed around it.

The social composition of the massive absolute refusal of the memorandum no. 2 crosses existing societal divisions and categorisations and reflects its informal and fluid character. The demonstrations in Greece include more and more actors with different social backgrounds, different political aspirations, and different desires for mostly non-representable futures. Apart from the material outcomes that successive austerity plans produce, mainly the violent downgrading of large parts of the late middle class, a strife against injustice is drowning by numbers the whole society regardless previous political affiliations. In addition, demonstrations in Greece more and more seem to escalate, precisely when they are less organised and when they are not called by formal political organisations. Although, a 3 day call for action (February 10 to 12) was set against the parliamentary vote of the memorandum no.2, during the first two days that coincided with a 48 hour strike supported by all the trade unions, the turnout was unexpectedly low, the protests pursued the usual tactic of marching towards the parliament grouped largely in political blocs and ended relatively quickly. On Sunday, February 12, when there was no strike, no precise formal call for action and no foreseen march itinerary at all the participation in the protest became unprecedented. Everyone just knew that from afternoon onwards people should go to Syntagma square, outside the Parliament. Most of the participants just walked from different parts of the city joining the demonstrations in small groups of friends, at random with people they met on their way to Syntagma, in neighbourhood associations, in neighbourhood assemblies that have been formed the past 6 months throughout Greece. There was no starting point of the ‘demonstration’, but only destination. People were trying to reach Syntagma many hours after the demonstration was supposed to have started, most were intermittently leaving the tear-gased areas to catch their breath and returning after a while. Even some political groups that managed to form a few blocs of demonstrators near the parliament dissolved soon after the first rounds of teargas were fired by the police as early as 5pm.

The only political group that retained its cohesive character and tactics during the course of February 12 was the Greek Communist Party (KKE), whose activists remained largely outside of the geographical scope of the demonstration, on the outskirts of central Athens trying to avoid any mingling with the rest.

3. The police tactics during the 12th February demonstration, were primarily aiming to deface the mediamatic image of this consolidated mass refusal of the memorandum no. 2 by evacuating the square ‘by any means necessary’. It was as if the whole crackdown of the demonstration unfolded around interrupting a panoramic visual representation of the mass of demonstrators and of course avoid any unpredicted shortcomings that could hinder the parliamentary procedure. Therefore, the principal concern of the Greek police was to prevent the demonstrators from gathering in one unified body of people tear-gassing massively all areas around Syntagma square, even before the beginning of the protest. As a result of this tactic, a large -quite possibly the largest- number of demonstrators never managed to reach Syntagma square and wandered around side streets, engaging in street battles against the police or trying to avoid them. This prevention of the emergence of a centralised mediamatic image depicting the mass refusal of the memorandum no.2 was quasi-celebrated by mainstream media and the government precisely as it enabled them to avoid to visually represent, address, or respond to the mass character of the demonstration. At the same time, however, it expressed their apprehension: the realisation that their usual formal reaction to these types of political conditions is becoming null, that they can no longer appeal to a supposed silent majority supporting them and so on.

The widespread rioting during the night of 12th February was also a result of this police tactic. The difficulties faced by police forces in dispersing the demonstrators as far away as possible from Syntagma square, when their primary desire was to return there every time they were pushed back. The dispersion of rioting in the wider city centre of Athens in the 12th of February is also related to the radicalisation of wider groups of demonstrators and the unexpected participation of certain social groups experienced in street battles against the police. In an unprecedented action, for instance, the principal football fan clubs in Greece, along with youngsters from other clubs, joined the 12th February demonstrations in a united fashion, setting aside club differences.

4. Through the absolute refusal of the memorandum no.2, an impossible situation is emerging for formal Greek parliamentary politics, particularly for governmental politics. The formal political solution: parliamentary elections cannot be easily pursued by the government coalition, even if the conservative partner in the coalition (Nea Dimokratia) insists on asking elections ‘just after the state of emergency’ is overcome. This because the result of these elections will probably make it impossible to put in place a pro-memorandum government, regardless of what type of electoral system will be chosen. The movement of absolute refusal will tend, in this way, to push Greek formal politics to or even beyond their limit.

This movement of absolute refusal is emerging out of the exceptional material circumstances of crisis contagion and catastrophe. But the most fearful for parliamentary politics development-factor that emerges as a mute – therefore unpredictable – monster is that catastrophe can be pursued, produced and imposed by a frenzy multitude that feels it has nothing to lose apart from the joy of destruction. Although, similarities and connections to the December 2008 revolt might seem evident, there is no necessarily linear or evolutionary process that connects the two, apart from the cumulative experience that has moved everyone a step towards radicalisation in thought and in practice. It is true that this growing radicalisation of more and more larger segments of Greek society hasn’t produced in these past 3 years any permanent democratic structures for organising or for articulating political struggles. The critical political question, however, might not necessarily be how to create these structures in the Greek context, but how to immediately transpose them in their fitting European setting, to think on how will this movement spread like contagion from one country to the next, from one urban context to another. In other words, how this absolute refusal will be internationalised in a continent that already lives its future through the lenses of a fist of experimental animals.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk/2012/02/workers-control-in-greece-eleftherotypias-workers-are-back-with-their-own-newspaper/

Moisis Litsis

From Wednesday, Feb. 15th, kiosks all over the country are displaying one more newspaper next to the usual ones, a newspaper written by its own workers. This is a newspaper which not only aims at bringing the fight of Eleftherotypia’s workers to the fore, but also seeks to be a newspaper giving real information, especially at such critical times for Greece.

The 800 men and women workers at the firm H.K. Tegopoulos, which edits the Eleftherotypia newspaper, from journalists to technician staff, from cleaners to clerks and caretakers, have gone on continuous strike since 2011, Dec. 22th as their employer stopped paying their salaries in August 2011

Eleftherotypia workers, seeing that their employer has requested application of section nr. 99 of the Bankruptcy Act, in order to protect himself against his creditors, i.e. in reality his workers to whom he owes a total of approximately 7 million euro in unpaid salaries (!) have decided to have their own newspaper published, at the same time as continuing mobilisations and taking legal action. A newspaper distributed by news agencies all over the country, at the price of 1 euro (against the usual 1.30 euro for the other newspapers), in order to provide financial support to the strike fund.

As they haven’t been paid for the last seven months, the female and male workers at Eleftherotypia are being subsided by a solidarity movement from various collectivities or even isolated citizens who donate money or make donations in kind (foodstuffs, blankets, etc.). By publishing their own newspaper and thanks to the money collected through its sales, they will be able to support their strike financially without any kind of mediation. In other words, they are making progress towards some kind of self-management.

The newspaper has been produced in a friendly workshop, in an ambiance that is reminiscent of clandestine newspaper editing, since the management, as soon as they found out that the journalists were going ahead with their publishing enterprise, first cut off the heating, then the system used by the sub-editors to write their articles, and last, shut down the workshop itself, even though access to the newspaper’s offices still remains free for the time being. Worker’s Eleftherotypia was printed at printing works that do not belong to the company, with the support of the press workers’ unions, because the staff of its own printing works felt reluctant to occupy their work place.

The management, afraid of the possible impact of the self-managed publication of the newspaper, have threatened to take legal action; they are using intimidation by threatening to fire the editorial committee who were democratically elected by the general meeting of strikers.

However, Greek public opinion, and not only Eleftherotypia readers, had been eagerly waiting for its publication – we were overwhelmed by messages cheering the journalists for publishing the newspaper themselves – since dictatorship of the markets is coupled with media dictatorship that makes Greek reality difficult to read and interpret. Had it not been for the general consensus that was maintained by most media in 2010, based on the argument that there was no alternative to Papandreou government signing the first Memorandum, whose patent failure has now been acknowledged by everyone, we might have seen the Greek people rising up much earlier in order to overturn a policy that has proven disastrous for all Europe.

The case of Eletherotypia is not unique. Tens of private sector enterprises have long ceased paying their employees, and their stockholder have virtually abandoned them waiting for better times… In the press, the situation is even worse. Because of the crisis, the banks have stopped lending to companies while employers refuse to pay for it out of their pockets and choose to call on section 99 – at least 100 listed on the stock exchange companies have already done so – trying to save time in view of a possible bankruptcy of Greece and a probable exit of the euro zone.

Eleftherotypia was created in 1975 as “its sub-editors’ newspaper” during the period of radicalization that followed the fall of dictatorship in 1974. Today, in times marked by the new “dictatorship of international creditors”, Eleftherotypia’s women and men workers have the ambition to become the bright example of a totally different way of information, resisting against “terror” from the employers as well as the press lords, who would not like at all to see workers take in their hands the fate of information.

.
[Moisis Litsis is an economic editor, a member of the Editorial Committee of “Worker’s Eleftherotypia”, and a substitute member of the Board of Directors of the Greek Press Workers’ Union (ESIEA).]

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Democracy in Greece...

Bailout, PSI hang in the balance (Athens News)

[...]
However, reports from Brussels suggested that eurozone hardliners at the teleconference had insisted that Athens must ensure that the austerity measures attached to the new bailout will be implemented in full regardless of the results of elections.
 
According to some reports, these proposals would imply that, either the elections should be indefinitely postponed or certain key economic ministries should be held by "permanent technocratic ministers" along the lines of the Monti government in Italy, appointed and supervised by the troika of Greece's creditors.

Entdinglichung

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Opinion polls:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_legislative_election,_2012#Opinion_polls

subprole

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From Wednesday, Feb. 15th, kiosks all over the country are displaying one more newspaper next to the usual ones, a newspaper written by its own workers. This is a newspaper which not only aims at bringing the fight of Eleftherotypia’s workers to the fore, but also seeks to be a newspaper giving real information, especially at such critical times for Greece.

well, does anybody know if the content has changed? in case they are continuing writing the same shit in a self-managed way - elefterotypia is considered to be a pro-p.a.s.o.k newspaper - the closure of this publication seems rather a good thing.

kissthesystem

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

its tricky, i mean if the trojka dont get what they want and greece defaults, will even more people lose their jobs?

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

subprole

well, does anybody know if the content has changed? in case they are continuing writing the same shit in a self-managed way - elefterotypia is considered to be a pro-p.a.s.o.k newspaper - the closure of this publication seems rather a good thing.

I always thought Eleftherotypia was the best Greek daily, though it's the best part of 20 years since I've lived in Greece and I can't really speak for how it's been more recently. As I remember it seemed pretty independent of PASOK, unlike, say, Ta Nea. The alabarricadas report compares it to the Spanish daily Público which seems a fair comparison to me. In any case it employed 800 people. Do you think it's a good thing that they're losing their jobs?

Edit: There's a translation of the Diagonal interview with Moisis Litsis here

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Far-right thug with an axe becomes new minister of infrastructure, transport and networks

The photograph above depicts the newly appointed minister of infrastructure, transport and networks in Greece, Makis Voridis. Voridis is member of the far-right, populist party LAOS which participates in the government of ‘national unity’ with four members. Voridis was the same person pictured above, in 1985, holding a hand-made axe and forming part of a group of thugs roaming around Exarcheia in Athens, in search of people demonstrating against police operations taking place in the neighbourhood at the time.

Photo from jungle report.

Makis Voridis has now joined New Democracy after voting for the memorandum and being expelled from LAOS.

Two former deputies of Popular Orthodox Rally (Laos) have joined the ranks of New Democracy, marking a shift of the latter to the right.
 
Makis Voridis and Adonis Georgiadis arrived early on Friday at the ND headquarters and met with the party’s leader, Antonis Samaras, to seal their “transfer”.
[…]
Up to last November, when Laos joined the interim government of Lucas Papademos, Voridis and Georgiadis served as the party’s parliamentary spokesman and secretary general, respectively.
 
They quit their party positions when they became ministers: Voridis as transport, infrastructure and networks minister and Georgiadis as deputy minister for development, competitiveness and shipping.
 
On February 10, after Karatzaferis announced his intention of voting against the new memorandum and withdrawing the four Laos ministers from the government, Georgiadis quit his ministerial post, while Voridis remained.
 
Voridis, 48, is a lawyer and former leader of the far-right Hellenic Front party. In 2005 he joined Laos and was elected an MP for the first time in the 2007 general election.
 
Even though he has quit his seat, Voridis will remain as transport minister.
[…]

http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/8/53401

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

School children take on the riot police in Syntagma with help from Loukanikos: video

Greek police now arresting school children in central Athens after demo earlier this morning

For those joining the TL now: schoolchildren's demo in #Syntagma #Greece assaulted by riot cops who teargas, arrest & handcuff minors.

@tinathem aptly points out that the schoolchildren in #Syntagma pose a serious threat to democracy. They're armed w/ bitter oranges.

Scuffles and rocks. Maybe 60 students, at least as many police in square. Another arrest (older, not student).

http://twitter.com/#!/teacherdude

ocelot

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BBC: Paul Mason, Struggling Greeks losing belief in the state

[...]
I have been reporting the Greek crisis now for two years, intermittently on the ground, and it looks like something changed, tangibly, in the past 10 days.

The established parties lost belief in what the EU is forcing them to do; parts of the EU lost belief in it too; and the people - quite wide layers of society - lost belief in the political class.

I cannot emphasise enough the role of policing and the media in this.

The streets of Athens on Sunday night were filled by protesters, tear gas and fires On the ground, Sunday's demonstration felt massive. It was never allowed to assemble in one place but even the PAME contingent, where I stood on Stadiou Street, looked maybe 50-70,000 strong.

The organisers claimed 250,000 had tried to assemble. The police claimed 4,500. The media reported 15,000. Both of the latter figures were a joke.

What was no joke were the clashes between police and the hardline protesters - drawn from the anarchist black bloc, the fringes of the far left and in increasing numbers from right-wing, football-supporting groups on the fringes of LAOS and the fascist group Chrissi Avgi. Time and again, on the grounds of confronting the rioters, police made incursions into large masses of peaceful protesters.

This is hardly spoken of by Greek ministers and the EU doesn't seem to want to comment on it. But I can tell you from repeated experience, it feels like a process of collective punishment of a peaceful majority.

I think this week caught Greece on the proverbial brink of something. The anger could easily solidify into anti-German sentiment, but with the conservatives and Orthodox right implicated in the first bailout, anger can more easily flow to the left.

It may be of course that I am overestimating the dangers. But here is another problem of perception: in the three hours I spent at or close to the front of the rioting on Sunday night, I did not see a single other television crew. Ours was repeatedly harassed, verbally and physically, most harshly by a small group of right wingers who accused us of being German.

At the start of the demo I saw one other (foreign) TV crew and that was it. Parts of the Greek broadcast media have long since given up telling the story of the streets; for most of them it is too dangerous, such is the popular hostility to a media many believe is in the pocket of a corrupt political class.

That is sad, but here's the wider problem this creates. If you are Schauble, Rehn, Merkel, Lagarde, you are increasingly flying blind in this crisis. The Greek papers, heavily politically aligned, can only partially reflect what is happening. The Greek politicians you talk to spend their nights shuttered behind grilles in anonymous offices - they cannot appear in public, they cannot get a feel of the streets.

The Greek politicians in power cannot deliver the country they run to an austerity package they do not believe in. And after the election, power is likely to be even more fragmented.

Just as the combined might of the IMF and the Greek government is pulling economic levers that do not work, the more insidious problem is that they are pulling political strings that are broken.

ocelot

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Meanwhile back in Germany...

FT: Berlin split on Greek bail-out

A split has emerged in the German government over whether to grant Greece a second bail-out package with Wolfgang Schäuble, finance minister, pushing to let Athens default while Chancellor Angela Merkel is firmly against, according to German and eurozone officials.

Mr Schäuble was said to have come to his hardline view in the light of haggling over Greece’s fresh austerity measures under a second rescue programme and the refusal of some Greek politicians to promise to back the deal after elections due in April.
[...]
The split between Mr Schäuble and Ms Merkel appears to be one reason for the delays in negotiating a second Greek rescue package.
[...]

So Schäuble is calling for Greek elections in April to be cancelled and the current technocrat-led coalition of politicians (ND, LAOS, PASOK) to be replaced by a fully unelected technocrat dictatorship. The estimation is that Merkel will win the battle with Schäuble by Monday's eurogroup meeting which is supposed to announce the go-ahead for the second 130m bail-out. However if Schäuble makes enough fuss, that may encourage CDU politicians in Germany to break the whip in the 27th Feb vote in the Bundestag which is supposed to rubber-stamp the bail-out.

But that's only one side to the "deal". The other is the "voluntary" restructuring (write-down) of 50-60% of existing Greek debt by private bondholders. However, this part is being called into question by the fact that the ECB is trying to avoid any writedowns on its holdings. Now UBS have opined that this effectively suborns the privately held debt relative to the ECB held stuff, which violates the "voluntary" nature of the restructuring, such that if the Greek government enforces the deal on the private holders via the Collective Action Clauses (CACs - that force minority bondholders to accept the deal if the majority have) under those conditions, that could trigger Credit Default Swap payouts - the very thing that the whole negotiated restructuring process is supposed to avoid.

(See Bloomberg: ECB Plan to Shield Its Greek Bonds May Subordinate Some Holders, UBS Says & Bloomberg: Germany Sees Deal Within Days, Aims to Avoid Swap Delay)

The other thing is that currently, the agreed restructuring needs to take place before the Euro bailout can be paid out.

Summary: despite the current flurry of positive briefing, there is a good number of possibilities of this situation going tits-up and tumbling into a car-crash default, even without the fact that Paul Mason has pointed out above - i.e. that the Greek politicians and state can't actually deliver shit at the moment.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Paul Mason had a long report on Newsnight just now, on iplayer from sometime tomorrow. Also a shorter Radio 4 report here which I think is available outside the UK.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From Occupied London

This is the 8th day of the occupation of the building of prefectural administration in Chania, Creta, Greece. We just translated our main text in english and we send it to you, to inform and spread the message of the occupations worldwide. There is also a french translation available.

We also have a blog and internet radio, live from the occupation. Today at 18:00 (greek time) we have organized a march in the main streets and the neighbourhoods of Chania. In Creta there are also occupied buildings in Rethimno and Lasithi. Moreover, the students are occupying their schools day by day. There at least 11 schools occupied in Chania today.

Our text follows:

Announcement of the Occupied Prefectural Administration of Chania

We are also part of the struggling people that rushed into the streets for the 48hour strike demonstrations and the massive protest of Sunday 12Feb against the devaluation of our employment and the pauperization of our lives. Since Friday 10Feb, after the march in the city streets, we have occupied the building of Prefecture of Crete in Chania. The occupation serves as a meeting and coordination centre of a collective effort to organize the struggle for a life that is characterized by solidarity, resistance and dignity. By blocking the ordinary function of a central administrational building, we pose political pressure against the implementation of the recent decisions of the foreign and local exploiters. We are referring to the voting by the Greek parliament of the second Memorandum and the new austerity measures according to the commands of Troika (EU, IMF, ECB) and global Capitalism.

We salute the hundreds of thousands demonstrators that during the last few days, and especially on Sunday 12Feb, fight against barbarism and the plundering of the basic social goods such as health, education, electricity and water.

We are a part of dozens of occupied state administrative, educational and labour buildings that spread across the country the last few days. Against a spirit of struggle decline and defeatism after the voting of the new laws by the parliament, we continue to fight against the fake dilemmas they impose, such as “bankruptcy or consent”. We call the grassroots labour unions of Chania to take decisions towards a Long-term General Strike. We call all the citizens of Chania and the countryside, students, workers and unemployed, immigrants and locals, to join our ideas, agonies and creativity.

To defend the dignity in our employment and in our life.

No prosecution to the detainees of the strike demonstrations.

Solidarity – Victory to the long-lasting strike of the Greek Steelworkers and all labour struggles.

All ahead towards a Long-term General Strike.

We call all people daily to participate in the public open assembly at 20:00 in the Occupied Prefectural Administration of Chania and in the actions that are decided. The last few days hundreds of people participate in the decisions of our assemblies.

subprole

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/NB18Dj02.html

As discussions about whether Greece should be allowed to default on its debt or be kept on financial life support pick up between European capitals, one gets the impression that the Europeans are playing with fire - the fiery demon of old nationalist hatreds - and are rocking the very boat in which they find themselves together. [...] The proposals of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble - echoed to an extent in the outlines provided by the latest Financial Times report on the bailout deal - effectively seek to subvert democracy in Greece. They come in the wake of repeated failures by the Greek government to implement past reforms and testify, among other things, to the frayed nerves of European leaders. [...] While nationalist sentiments, according to most observers, are hardly strong enough yet to threaten the existence of the European Union, the confrontation between Greece and Germany could be symptomatic of worse to come if the financial meltdown is not contained. Here is, however, where Germany's dilemma becomes apparent: if tough rules are not enforced with Greece, there are a number of countries waiting in the wings for handouts. None are likely to agree to any less than meted out to Athens. [...] The nightmare scenario is a vicious cycle in which countries would keep missing financial targets and needing further assistance. Some could indeed become bottomless pits for German money; worse, by the time Italy comes hat-in-hand, Berlin would probably have gone bankrupt itself. [...] The big problem with this rationale, as Stratfor points out, is that nations are fundamentally very different from corporations. To take this point further, numerous attempts to organize the lives of human beings according to the logic of markets have failed miserably in the past, and this current one is likely destined for a disastrous end as well. In an alternate nightmare scenario, the European leaders risk fanning the flames of ethnic hatred and mistrust which were buried, but never quite put out, by the common European project. How much damage that could do is impossible to predict, but the history of Europe - including the recent history of the Balkans - is full of bloodshed. A researcher had once estimated that if all outstanding land claims by nation-states in the Balkans were to be honored, the area of the peninsula would have to be two to three times larger than it is. And while war is clearly not on the horizon right now, social upheaval, and perhaps increased tensions, probably are. A Greek debt default - something that, at least in the form of an "orderly restructuring", is practically unavoidable right now - would surely impact the whole region.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Entdinglichung

Opinion polls:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_legislative_election,_2012#Opinion_polls

The latest polls show support for New Democracy down to 24 percent, or 19 percent according to one poll, so no chance of them being able to form a government on their own after an election.

subprole

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2012/02/19/greece-spread-the-revolt-february-12th/

[…] An estimated 500,000 took to the streets of Athens on last Sunday, third day of nationwide anti-austerity mobilization. This one was a very motley crowd: one could see from patriot thugs — both leftist and ultra-right — to Stalinists of PAME and Trotskyist factions; also, a lot of middle-aged people who were not part of a specific block; among the diverse crowd were also ultras, unionists, people from popular assemblies, many migrants, insurrectionist and wild youths, anarchist and libertarian individuals and groups. The protest was scattered in many different parts. Massive police force fired tear gas repeatedly at us, as if we were cockroaches destined to be killed due to adverse effects as far as allergies of Power. Demonstrators remained outside the parliament chanting anti-repression slogans. Many steps back, and many steps forth, back and forth, with evolving clashes at the lower part. The sound and stink of flash-bang grenades and chemicals made the entire space feeling like a cage. And most of us did not seem eager to counterattack immediately and raid the brothel of democracy en mass. […] It was only in the morning, and after many hours of efforts, that firefighters managed to extinguish the flames of freedom. And there’s a mourning short period after such events, where citizens eagerly hold candles over their ruins. That hypocrisy is beyond words. Athens seems to have burned scars, with a flood of terror-frenzy scenarios in the media making ‘normality’ extremely fragile. We know as well as the Power knows, that flames rose high in the streets on February 12th, flames that may ignite other fires to burn worldwide. If this brief rebellious manifestation will not extend beyond the state borders, it will not vindicate us. In present times, amidst another round of protests on February 19th, international solidarity and complicity are more important than ever before. Solidarity with the struggle in Greece means to attack directly to any infrastructure of the State and the Capital, often within walking distance from your place. Reciprocal aid means that we are not ‘all Greeks’; we are of no country, of no nationality; we are what our revolutionary solidarity will gradually make us. [...]

baboon

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Occupied Chania statement from Mark above looks quite a positive statement and a positive development in the struggle.

One of the conditions of the IMF, EU, ECB l"loan" conditions is that the military is not cut and this presumably applies to all the forces of repression.

Harrison

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is worth listening to
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01bwm1h
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b01bwm1h

Financial peeps talking about the preparation of an economic 'firewall' intended to shield other countries (Portugal/Spain/Italy) from exposure to a potential Greek exit from the Eurozone. Sounds pretty desperate.

bastarx

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is a couple of months old so apologies if its been linked to already but I found this article from New Left Review pretty interesting:

http://www.zcommunications.org/the-greek-cauldron-by-stathis-kouvelakis

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Protests at cuts on eve of bailout decision (Athens News)

Edit: Dimitris on the urban75 thread

Hello all. Let me tell you that I have passed my Sunday on a floor of the police headquarters building in Athens (GADA). This is because I was detained, together with 60 more people, basically for no reason at all. While I was in Exarchia, central Athens, for no apparent reason (there was no demo or riot taking place) police surrounded the streets around the main square of Exarchia, and was detaining whoever they believed that they should. They detained people who were just walking on the street, or drinking coffee at a cafe. The official "excuse" was that I had no ID with me, so I went with them for identification. As far as I know they did the same and with people in Monastiraki area (again an area of central Athens). Of course their motive was different, they wanted comrades from Exarchia area being detained during Sunday, as they wanted to be sure that we will not be on the streets of Athens during Sunday. We were all packed in a small room, were not given any official excuse as to why we where there for hours, we were not even given water when some people asked. We were then asked to give various information as to if we were on the demo last Sunday, if we knew anything for the arsons that took place and so on. After hours of nerve braking procedures and waiting for no reason packed in a very small room they started the identification procedure and we were being released. Up to the time I left no one got arrested, I do not know if any of the ones after me got arrested but I do not think so....

This is not the first time that the police is performing precautionary detentions. Actually after the riots one week ago a number of politicians and others in the mass media criticized the police that they did not do any precautionary detentions before the demos in order to minimize the chance of riots, as they have done on other occasions at the past.

Mark.

10 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]w2iYORFXfSk[/youtube]

[youtube]KwY89ZuQWdc[/youtube]

From the Athens News

Deeper PSI haircut under tight troika oversight

Permanent supervision by troika staff in Athens will ensure that Greece abides by its fiscal commitments under a 130bn euro bailout agreed by eurozone finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday.

Government begins austerity blitz

Troika representatives insist the latest round of cuts are in place before the country is given any new bailout money - placing enormous pressure on the governing coalition which must push through scores of cost-cutting changes, such as new reductions in various categories of pensions, salaries, and closures of state enterprises to meet the target of sacking 15,000 public servants this year.

Unions plan Wednesday protest

The country's two largest trade-union federations have called a central Athens protest for 4pm on Wednesday, in a march to parliament timed to coincide with a vote on new austerity measures.

From Kathimerini

Papademos hails 'historic' deal for new loans, debt reduction

Greece will also have to introduce a legal provision, later to be made part of the Constitution, that will give priority to debt servicing rather than domestic expenditure.

Also

Finland and Greece sign collateral deal

Finland and Greece, the security agreement was signed in secret

http://twitter.com/#!/teacherdude

Entdinglichung

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2012-02-21/a-stalinist-welcome-to-a-nazi-intervention-into-a-workers-strike-in-greece

The workers of Elliniki Halivourgia (‘Greek Steelworks’) have been on strike for 111 days. Elliniki Halivourgia is a steel factory in Aspropyrgos, an industrial outskirt of Athens. The same firm has another factory in the city of Volos.

The management announced a plan to enforce a 5-hour working day with a subsequent pay cut of 40%. On October, 30 2011 the workers’ general assembly in the factory of Aspropyrgos unanimously rejected the cuts. On the other hand, the trade union factory of Volos accepted the proposals of the company. The management immediately announced the dismissal of 34 workers in Aspropyrgos. In response, the workers decided to go on an indefinite strike and occupied the gates of the factory. Their demands are for rehiring of their fired co-workers and the cancellation of the cuts plan. After a month’s strike the company decided to fire another 16.

The strike is under the control of the factory union but the final decisions are taken by the workers’ assembly. On December 6, 2011 a general 24-hours general strike took place in the local industrial area and on January 17 the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) called a 24-strike in Atiki (Athens, Piraeus).

The strike is one of the most important in the last few years. However, it remains isolated and the trade union has already accepted the plan of the company and asks for the rehiring or the early retirement of the fired co-workers. Nevertheless, the employer remains adamant.

PAME, the trade union coalition of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) has played a key role, trying to promote their fighting prestige (‘make all Greece into Elliniki Halivourgia’) and using it as a weapon for their trade union and electoral tactics.

On Friday 17 February a group of the notorious fascist party ‘Xrisi Afgi’ (‘Golden Dawn’) visited the factory; they passed unmolested through the gate, took the microphone and made a speech to the strikers expressing their ‘solidarity’ in the presence of some members of the union. Then, the president of the factory trade union welcomed the fascists, saying that ‘all Greece is with us’.

First you see the Nazis making a speech and then the president welcomes the Nazis. The union’s president, Giorgos Sifonios, is a member of PAME and he was a candidate of the KKE in the district elections in 1998. Until now PAME haven’t given any explanation, and they haven’t tried to dissociate themselves from that event. So, it is justified to assume that the president acted according to party policy. Otherwise, they would have expelled him immediately.

Doing this the Stalinist KKE have brought the fascists into the workers movement. For the time being I can not explain their stance. I suppose that this is due to the active intervention of anarchists in that strike. As a matter of fact, many anarchist groups energetically supported the strikers and expressed their solidarity with them through many actions. As supporters of spontaneity they may idealize such a strike. So, maybe it will be a great discouragement on their part after that event.

‘Golden Dawn’ is a well known fascist group. They started as pure ‘national socialists’ and later they mixed Nazism up with the traditions of the Greek far-right. But, anyway, they are famous as pro-nazi. They are responsible for many attacks against immigrants. Clearly, it is a ‘para state’ group and they have close connections with the police and army. They have a growing influence especially in popular and workers areas and they are expected to win a good percentage (about 3-4%) in the upcoming elections.

Mark.

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Entdinglichung - there's a response from a KKE member on the urban75 thread, here. Mind you he also says this about the KKE and Stalin:

By saying all of the above, I am not hiding the fact that KKE has a largely positive view on the role of Stalin in the construction of socialism in the Soviet Union. This view is not based on some blind faith on personalities, on survivals of some "cult of personality" (for several decades after the infamous 20th Congress of the CPSU, KKE itself was thouroughly cleansed of such survivals by the ideological followers of Krushchev in our Party). It is based on a historical materialist interpretation of the unfolding of socialist construction in the USSR, first and foremost in the field of economic relations, which reveals the unsurpassed ability of Stalin to understand the contradictions inherent in the building of socialism and to chart a basically correct path towards solving them. The 20th Congress in 1956 constitutes a point of opportunist turn, precisely because it adopted theoretical positions and implemented practical policies that led to a sharpening of the contradictions and eventually to the counter-revolutionary demise of the USSR.

Edited to add:

Response from PAME to criticism over the Golden Dawn visit to the steelworks occupation

Mark.

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]7WsmWEt0RK0[/youtube]

Mark.

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Govt rushes to pass bailout laws amid protests (Athens News)

On the streets of Athens: 'If things get any worse, I won't be able to survive...' (Independent)

The one group of people in Greece who have always said the Greek state was rotten to the core are the anarchists. Sitting around a table in a building called Nosotros, Nikos, who did not give his family name, says: "Greece suffers from a clientist system based on corruption. Parties used patronage to buy millions of voters. The bourgeoisie has never invested its money here." I said this sounded very much the analysis of the Troika (EU, IMF and European Central Bank) emissaries, but Nikos is unembarrassed.

The anarchists had all taken part in the demonstrations, not to change government policy but to show solidarity with other protesters and demonstrate their opposition to the state. "People don't believe in the political system any more," said Vangelis, another anarchist. "It is not a question of saving the banks or the euro, but changing Greek society from the bottom up." He may be right but both the Troika and the anarchists, in their different ways, will have their job cut out to do this.

Mark.

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Salary cutbacks (called "unified payroll") for contract workers at the public sector set to be finalized today. Cuts to be valid retroactively since november 2011. Expected result: Up to 64.000 people will work without salary this month, or even be asked to return money. Amongst them 21.000 teachers, 13.000 municipal employees and 30.000 civil servants.

Entdinglichung

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

from http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/national-sovereignty-and-the-sovereignty-of-the-people-video-from-the-kke/#comment-115065

The KKE have now responded to criticism of allowing fascists to speak at a picket line of a KKE aligned union by

A) claiming they did nothing wrong what so ever
B) claiming the SYRIZA, Xekinima, SEK etc are provocatuers just like Golden Dawn!

soc

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Entdinglichung

from http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/national-sovereignty-and-the-sovereignty-of-the-people-video-from-the-kke/#comment-115065

The KKE have now responded to criticism of allowing fascists to speak at a picket line of a KKE aligned union by

A) claiming they did nothing wrong what so ever
B) claiming the SYRIZA, Xekinima, SEK etc are provocatuers just like Golden Dawn!

Oh my, oh my. These bolsheviks are big jokers, whatever country they're operating in. I have read the comments on the urban75 forum, and frankly, it's like my grandma's newspaper from the 70's Hungarian People's Republic.
The tragedy of these parties is that they are able to make people believe that being an activist/member would bring about communism. And what they get? Tanks, state terror, deteriorating material conditions, oppression. Hopefully these wankers will loose their charm before they could get in to power. In no way would be better, than the ND, the LAOS, or the PASOK.

Mark.

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Unions have announced have announced a three-hour work stoppage and protest rally on February 29, as part of a "European day of action" across the continent.
 
The GSEE and ADEDY unions (umbrella and civil service labour groups) said the stoppage would be held between noon and 3pm, with a rally also planned for 6pm to Syntagma Square.
 
The Brussels-based European Trade Union Confederation said 27 countries will be participating in the latest protest ahead of a EU leaders' summit on March 1.

http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/53572

Mark.

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]UEh0PJkyVeE[/youtube]

Scenes from the 48hour General Strike that took place in Greece at Friday 10 & Saturday 11 of February, and the huge demonstration of Sunday 12/2/12, that over a million people demonstrated in every street around the parliament, while inside it the MPs of the government voted, the new austerity measures.

Entdinglichung

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2012-02-23/update-more-manoeuvres-by-the-greek-stalinists

communal_pie

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2012/02/some-greeks-might-have-pay-their-jobs/49023/

Greeks having to pay for their jobs as well, saw this on rev left but it's unbelievable, absolutely out of this world.

Mark.

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dear friends and comrades from all over the world

I am very happy to announce that we, the striking employees of ELEFTHEROTYPIA, Athens daily newspaper, have managed to print the second issue of "THE WORKERS" newspaper (OI ERGAZOMENOI), as we call the newspaper we write and print on our own.

The ownership tried everything to stop us, they took us to the courts trying to prohibit us from selling it in the kiosks, they used personal threats, blackmail us that we would lose our compensations, they even sent anonymous messages to our representatives in the union, threatening they will "f.. them up", using tactics that resemble the mafia and remind us of military dictatorships of the northern hemisphere and not european democracies. They even locked us out of the newspaper building, after disconnecting the phones, cutting down the internet, and denying us access to our computer systems and everything we have written.

In spite of all these obstacles, we are back with a vengeance. Last Wednesday "The Workers" newspaper sold 31.000 copies, outselling every other newspaper in the country. Now we managed to print 65.000 issues, and expect to do even better.

The contents of this new issue are rich and interesting, with a large feature about the future of Europe and the debt crisis in the Eurozone called "QUO VADIS EUROPA". There are also interviews from artists such as the Taviani brothers, greek and foreign intellectuals and economists, exclusive interview from euro M.P. Daniel Cohn Bendit, lots of reports and news from workers’ struggles and social movements from Greece, Europe and the rest of the world.

For our friends in the Occupy Movement, there is an interview with marxist sociologist Eric Olin Wright, who recently visited Greece and talks about class inequalities in the States, Occupy movements in various cities , and the possibilities of national and global co-ordination of such movements.

Our newspaper will soon be online on pdf in our blog: www.erganet.wordpress.com, and we hope that pretty soon we can translate and post online articles in english and other languages.

Already there have been lots of articles and clips in foreign media outlets (newspapers, radiostations, television, ) and we have received letters of support from journalists unions from all over the world. Find attached the IFJ (International Federation of Journalists) announcement in support of our struggle in issuing our own newspaper, the front pages of our first two issues, and an article in english (also available in french, german, italian, german).

Thank you very much for your inspiration and support

Please, if you want to write, contribute or send anything to us don’t hesitate.

Please spread the news to your country too. Social and workers’ control, in every form, is very encouraging in these times of crisis.

Yours in Solidarity

Aphrodite Politi

unpaid journalist in Eleftherotypia Newspaper

Athens Greece

Taken from http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/5604

[youtube]TM9tfH6lJoQ[/youtube]

Mark.

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nearly twelve hours after he shot and wounded three people and took two hostages in a plastics factory in the northeastern city of Komotini, an aggrieved former employee surrendered to police in the early hours of Friday morning.
 
Armed with a hunting gun, the man, identified as 52-year-old Dimitrios Manikas, entered the Helesi factory at 1.15pm on Thursday, shooting the company chairman and a worker.
 
He also shot at a police officer, injuring him in the hand.
 
Police began negotiations with the man about three hours after forced his way into the plant, which produces plastic waste containers.
 
According to media reports, at one stage Manikas requested antidepressants. When these were provided, the situation quickly deescalated.
 
He released the hostages and, after surrendering his weapon, turned himself over to police who had surrounded the factory.
 
After eleven years' employment, he was fired from the company six months ago and, according to the police, was demanding back pay of 31,000 euros.
[…]
According to a local labour activist, Manikas had run out of money.
 
"He had been employed at the plant for several years ... They had promised to rehire him," Pantelis Magalios, head of Komotini labour centre, told AP.
 
"His colleagues told me that he had not eaten anything in four days."
 
While he said he could not condone the attack, Magalios said it was necessary to ask what led Magalios to take a gun to the factory.
 
"Unemployment, which is on the rise, and wage cuts is what led him to this point," he told reporters. "These are the issues that we will continue to face."
[…]

http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/53712

-----

A few days ago a bomb was found in a train of Athens Metro. The apparatus did not explode. But yesterday the police correspondent of the newspaper TO VIMA, named Vassilis Lambropoulos, wrote in the paper an article quoting a communiqué of the open people’s assembly of Holargos, Papagou, suggesting that according to the police this is an evident linked with the bomb case(!)

The open people’s assembly of Holargos and Papagou, is one of the many people’s assemblies that are growing in Athens the last years. It is an open public assembly that takes place weekly dealing with local political issues and anti-austerity politics, it is run according to the principles of direct democracy,it has horizontial structure, and is open to everyone.

Immediately the assembly issued a condemn against the paper for trying to target them and later in the evening 50 members of the assembly paid a visit to the newspapers HQ to protest, Lambropoulos pretended that is not there, but the chief editor of the paper came to the reception of the building where people had a word with him.

Lambropoulos is well known for doing the work of police, he always refers to first-hand information by anonymous high rank officers and whatever police cannot state formally, they are getting Lampropoulos to write it for them.

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2012/03/02/police-via-the-newspaper-to-vima-is-trying-to-accuse-the-open-peoples-assemply-of-holargos-papagou-for-a-bomb-found-in-athens-metro/

-----

Since last Wednesday the workers of the shipyards of Elefsina, outside Athens, are on strike demanding from the companies to sign an agreement that are not going to decrease any wages. All companies signed the agreement with the exception of Siemnes and DECO.

Yesterday people from Siemens called individually workers in their homes telling them that it is going to be a bus in the square of Elefsina to pick them up and bring them to work, breaking the strike and workers’ blockade of the shipyard.

Eventually, out of more than 100 workers hardly 10 turned up in the square and the bus did not cross the blockade. But in front of the shipyards at the moment there are a Siemens manager, 4 patrol cars with police and an attorney general threatening the workers to open the blockade and go to work.

The workers decide that the strike will not end until Siemens signs the agreement.

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2012/03/02/siemens-in-collaboration-with-the-police-and-an-attorney-general-attempts-to-break-the-strike-of-shipyward-workers-in-elefsina/

ludd

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have no clue how likely it is that 95% (or even 66%) of Greek bondholders will accept the deal that cuts the value of their bonds - doesn't seem like anyone knows. 95% doesn't look likely at all. This could unravel into an even larger crisis than 2008.

Greek default looms as voluntary debt deal looks set to fail

Authorities in Athens are ready to enforce the controversial collective action clauses, or CACs, to impose the restructuring deal on all bondholders as the number of voluntary agreements look set to fall short of the required amount.

Credit rating agencies have warned they will declare Athens to be in default if the CACs are triggered which would be a dramatic culmination to a three-year rollercoaster ride for Athens, the eurozone and global markets.

While the markets have been ready for a Greek default for months, the move could leave Greece and its banks barred from funding from the European Central Bank (ECB). On Monday, Standard & Poor’s declared Greece to be in a state of “selective default” which led to the ECB announcing it would no longer accept Greek government bonds as security for new loans.

The rating agency said its decision had been prompted by the threat of the CACs and the actual use of them is likely to tip Greece into actual default. The agency said it regarded the process as a “distressed debt restructuring”.

Raoul Ruparel of Open Europe, the London-based think-tank, said: “Greece is likely to struggle to reach the targets for a voluntary agreement so the credit rating agencies are almost certainly going to see this as a default.

"What happens next is unknown territory."

"Greek banks will probably be barred from normal ECB funding and have to turn to the Emergency Liquidity Assistance [provided by the ECB] instead but for how long, we don’t know.”

Greece needs around 95pc of its private creditors to accept the deal by the deadline on Thursday in order to secure its €130bn international bail-out package and avert imminent bankruptcy.

Greek politicians back the use of CACs – which allow the deal to be imposed on all bondholders if 66pc agree to it – being inserted retrospectively if the voluntary agreement falls short.

The uncertainty over the deal on Greek debt put further pressure on the euro last week. The single currency fell sharply against the dollar and other major currencies.

Uncertainty over Spanish willingness to stick to its austerity programme also put pressure on the currency.

Last week, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) declared that there had not yet been a credit event in Greece so there was no need for the credit default insurance instruments to be triggered.

If the CACs are triggered this week, the committee will almost certainly reconsider its decision.

FT says that 75% of bondholders would be enough to prevent CACs and default: Greek bond swap deal rests on knife-edge

Entdinglichung

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2012/03/14/greece-potatoes-and-stalinists

Greece: potatoes and Stalinists

Theodora Polenta

Since the start of March, pictures of farmers in vans distributing potatoes to queues of people have dominated the Greek media.

Producers of potatoes in the Pieria region decided to get rid of the middleman and distribute their potatoes at €0.25 per kilo instead of €0.60.

Almost everybody across the political spectrum, including the government and the mainstream media, has endorsed this “potato movement”, though for different reasons.

The strident and significant exception is the strong though diehard-Stalinist Greek Communist Party (KKE).

The far-left coalition Antarsya, for example, has declared: “These movements show that the fat cat middlemen and capitalist bosses are not invincible... Getting rid of the middlemen is an important step so that the producers and the consumers can cope with the attacks of the [EU/ ECB/ IMF] Troika and the national unity government”.

“It is patronising to describe it as the potato movement. It is directly connected with the needs of both the producers and the people who are on the brink of starvation and social deprivation and destitution. It is connected with the future.

“It carries images from the future. It reveals the tremendous potential opened up when the producers and creators of society's wealth take control over their products. All working class people can benefit by having access to cheap and good quality food”.

As Antarsya notes, the potato movement is connected and interlinked with the versatile, imaginative, and multiple forms of struggle developed during the last two years of Greek working-class struggle.

It is connected with the neighbourhood non-payment movement, first against road tariffs and bus fares, and lately against the new regressive property tax. It is connected with the movement of “indignant citizens” in the city squares. It is connected with all the small and big struggles in workplaces across Greece.

Yet the KKE has printed virtually an article a day denouncing the potato movement.

KKE explains the obvious — that the potato movement is not socialist collective farming; it operates within the framework of the capitalist society; it will not solve food high prices overall, or meets all of society's food needs.

Last week the KKE paper Rizospastis declared: “Pushed by the mainstream media and encouraged by the government, a propaganda campaign is developing that has as its aim to deceive working-class people and the small peasants… This propaganda is referred to as the potato movement

“The aim of the cheap-potatoes movement is identical to that of the 'indignant citizens' in the city squares. It is to try to mislead the poor peasants away from the agricultural unions, away from the fight against EU's Common Agricultural Policy, away from the fight against the monopolies...

“The feeding of the people, the production of cheap and good quality agricultural products, is a very serious problem that cannot be solved via activism, voluntarism and sporadic internet orders [the farmers involved take orders over the internet]...

“There is indeed a big gap between the price at which producers sell products to the middlemen and the price at which these products are sold to the consumer.

“But as long as the laws of the markets and the profits prevail the above problem cannot be solved...

“As long as capitalist relationships are present, exploitation will operate at every level against the people, independent of their status, pensioners, workers, unemployed, producers, consumers...

“Under a planned economy, the process of production and distribution of agricultural products will guarantee a satisfactory income for all producers, to cover their needs, as well as cheap and healthy food for all people, as well as new jobs. But that can only be achieved within the context of a workers' and people's government and economy”.

KKE's hostile stance against the potato movement is in line with its stances against the students and youth rebellion movement of 2008 and against last summer's movement in the city squares. It is in line with KKE's sectarian policy of separate demonstrations and protests during the general strikes.

It is in line with KKE's attempts to build separate neighbourhood movements, and its hostile stance towards any movement that is not politically and ideologically under the wing of the party. Deploying Stalinism and mechanistic conspiracy theory in classic form, the KKE declares that the potato movement is “directed by big capital, like the city squares movement”.

Recently KKE has backtracked a bit. Its secretary, Aleka Paparyga, has made a statement saying that there had been exaggerations in KKE's response, but the main points had been right.

The movement initiated in Pieria has now spread all over Greece, gaining momentum every day, with councillors and mayors being involved to facilitate it. In some areas it has been extended to other products such as honey and oil.

There is now talk of farmers directly distributing rice, flour, olive oil, beans, and lamb for Easter. The oil will be distributed at €3 per litre (€6 per litre in supermarkets), flour at €0.50 per kilo (€1 in supermarkets), rice at €0.70 per kilo (€3 in supermarkets), beans at €3 per kilo (€8 in supermarkets), lamb at €7 per kilo (€13 in the butchers).

It all started a couple of months ago, when the producers of milk and fruit were protesting against the EU's Common Agricultural Policy outside parliament. Instead of throwing their products at the parliament and ministry buildings, as customary in previous protests, they decided to distribute them free in Syntagma Square.

Their move gained overwhelming support, and all the products were distributed to the people within a space of a few hours.

With the economically active population earning monthly wages of €500 and €600, over one million unemployed, and 20,000 homeless people in Athens alone, of course distribution of free or cheap agricultural products results in massive responses from the people.

Alongside the potato movement there are the not-so-publicised “alternative networks of product exchange” in which people are swapping possessions, and the “social kitchens” where people are sharing resources in cooking and offering food to the destitute and unemployed. Other unpredictable forms and ways of dealing with basic needs for foods and shelter will be developed by the movement.

The left should not underestimate the danger of these movements being incorporated by the establishment, as a peaceful charity appendix of the government's cuts, or channelled into reformist ideas and illusions about building oases of freedoms within the capitalist system.

But these movements, with their massive appeal, also carry potential to be a first step towards a concentration of forces and the building of a massive working-class movement with radical characteristics.

For that, they need to be linked with the trade union movement and the workplace struggles, and with the neighbourhood community movements, and given clear political direction by the left.

• Redistribute the land owned by the church and the big farmers to the peasants

• Create agricultural cooperatives under peasant and social control, with representatives elected, accountable to, and recallable by general meetings

• Nationalise the fertiliser and farm machine industries under workers' social control

• Coordinate food policy and agricultural production on the basis of Greek society's needs and respect for the environment.

ocelot

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The auction for Greek sovereign CDS is set for this coming Monday 19th Mar. Although not likely to cause the global financial heart attack that the Lehman Brothers auction of 10th October 2008, it could still be an interesting one to keep a tab on. Sovereign CDS is a much smaller and shallower market than corporate ones, plus some (not much) additional clearing house information has been put in place since 2009, together they should give some better predictive power over how much of the stuff is out there and what the likely payout % will be (currently estimated at 77%). But if the results were to vary from expectations for what is effectively the longest-forseeen credit event in recent years, that would be an interesting indication that the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp still does not have the handle on the CDS market it claims.

FT: Greek bond protection payout to hit $2.5bn, Mar 15

Investors holding insurance-like products as protection against a Greek default, the world’s biggest sovereign debt restructuring, will receive about $2.5bn, according to market prices on Thursday.

An auction of credit default swaps on Monday will use the price of the new Greek 30-year bond to settle payouts as part of the restructuring.

These bonds are trading at a price of 23 cents on the euro. This means buyers of CDS protection can expect a payout of 77 per cent of the net outstanding amount of Greek default swaps in the market, which stands at just above $3bn. The payout will be about $2.5bn.
[...]
There were 4,369 swaps contracts covering a net $3.18bn of Greek debt outstanding as of March 9, according to the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp, the data warehouse.

Spikymike

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks to Entdinglichung for the extract exposing the KKE's governmental aspirations in it's response to the so-called 'potatoe movement' though note that 'Workers Liberty' a neo-trotskyist grouping is only putting forward it's own 'loyal oppositionist' state planning programme in it's competition with the stalinist KKE.

subprole

10 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2012/03/21/little-stories-from-imf-run-greece-81-year-old-woman-sets-herself-alight-man-drowns-in-the-port-of-piraeus-after-driving-his-car-into-the-sea-70-year-old-man-storms-tax-office-with-a-shotgun/

‘Little’ stories like these below keep surfacing in the mainstream greek media, while the majority of them never even make it there.

- On Saturday, 17.03, an 81-year old woman in the island of Zakynthos sat down in the garden of her house before soaking herself with petrol and setting herself on fire. After her death, her relatives found a note explaining she did not want to become a ‘burden’ to her children.

- On Monday, 19.03, at the city of Piraeus in Athens, a man drove straight into the sea with his car. According to some witnesses he shouted ante geia (‘so long’) and when he was dragged to the land he was pronounced dead.

- On the same day, on Monday, a 70-year old man stormed the tax office of the Athenian suburb of Ayia Paraskeui armed with a shotgun, fired shots inside the building (without injuring anyone) and shouting, according to witnesses, ‘you have taken everything from me, you won’t be taking anything else’. He unsuccessfully tried to take some of the workers in the building hostage, and he was arrested soon thereafter.

Ambrose

10 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anyone know what the general atmosphere is down there? I was thinking about traveling there to participate but I'd like to know if something is still going on down there.

Juan Conatz

10 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Do you watch the news?

Anyway, elections just happened, looks like:

Big Winners: SYRIZA, Golden Dawn (explosion in support for both)

Big Losers: PASOK (usually 1 of the 2 main parties, plummeted to third)

Little bit of both: New Democracy (came in first but with far less percentage than usual), KKE (still hovering in the 6-8% area)

Golden Dawn will be entering Parliament for the first time...and SYRIZA now has more seats than PASOK.

Entdinglichung

10 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the vote in detail: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2012/may/06/greece-elections-results-map