Reforms and fears about the explosive economic crisis mark the days after the latest riots in Greece
The day after the latest riots, which erupted as a response to mass preventive repression against the commemoration of Alexandros Grigoropoulos murder, is characterized by the launching of an array of reforms by the greek state struggling with an explosive economic crisis.
On the educational front, the Minister of Education and Religion Ms Diamantopoulou held a conference with the rectors of the greek universities in a secluded area in Lavrion (fearing popular mobilisations against it). During the conference it was decided that the government will not challenge the anti-constitutional law introduced in March 2007 amidst, a year long mass mobilisation and periodic riots against it, by the right-wing government. The Giannatou-law as it is known in effect breaches article 16 of the constitution by ruling that university asylum can be lifted if a state attorney gets the approval of the rector due to crimes being committed. The constitution rules that the asylum can be lifted only by a unanimous agreement of the rectorial-lecturers-students council. Moreover, the educational conference decided to demarcate which area are included in the asylum and which not, without of course any agreement by the students who were not even invited in the talks. Finally the conferees have decreed to oust permanent building or room occupations within university premises, referring to anarchist antiauthoritarian and autonomous social centres operating within universities since the 1980s. The reforms enjoy the support and aggressive promotion by bourgeois press and media interests.
On the repression front, the napoleonic-delirious Minister of Public Order has once again attacked the left as "hypocrites and professional sensitives" covering "nazis that planned a Crystal Night", insisting on the validity of preventive arrests (illegal according to the constitution), and pointing out most ominously that leftist and anarchist violence will lead "in the immediate future to extreme-right terrorism by yet unknown groups". The declaration, reading more like a threat than like a prediction in the light of the two armed attacks against premises of the antagonistic movement during 2009, came after two bombs were diffused by the police pyrotechnic corps after warning phonecalls on Saturday 13. The bombs which did not go off because of some technical problem were targeted at the social security bureau of the media. The ministry has repeated its promises of abolishing tear gas and replacing it with water cannon tanks, as well as of abolishing the anti-hood law after Christmas.
The reform suggestions come amidst greatest economic crisis since 1974 with the greek government juggling with austerity measures that stretch from a three year freeze of public sector salaries, to coupons for meat milk and bread for the unemployed, to the abolition of the Easter half salary bonus. Fearing mass reaction to the measures, the PM has played cold and hot, taking back proposed measures hours after proposing them, and calling a conference of "national unity" for Monday. It must be noted that a mass strike has been called for Tuesday including an array of labour sectors, while a shoe factory (Elite) has come under workers occupation in Athens.