The opening of the new week sees the first reactions to the placing of Greece under IMF supervision: air-force pilots and means of transport strike.
Only hours after the Greek PM Giorgos Papandreou announced the entering of Greece under IMF supervision from the remote island of Kastelorizo last Friday, stressing that "hellenism is beginning a new Odyssey", a sponteneous protest march of 5,000 organised on-line and via cell phone texting took to the streets of Athens, leading to clashes with the police and the arrest of a 15 year old girl. At the same time, banks were reported to be besieged by customers seeking to withdraw their deposits in fear of a default.
The opening of the new week has seen the government announcing the merging or abolition of a series of public services, the only way to constitutionally sack civil servants. And yet, reactions to the IMF supervision have been rather mild. The means of mass transport (one of the sectors threatened by merging) performed a 4h stoppage today, while GSEE, the private sector union umbrella, refused to attend the planned meeting with the Minister of Labour, in a ritual but empty gesture of discontent. Perhaps the most unexpected reaction has come however from the armed forces, where Air-Force pilots have staged a white strike refusing to fly their scheduled training flights. The strike has infuriated the Ministry of Defence, especially as it seems like underwater special forces and submarine forces are soon to perform similar white strikes. The reason for the strike is the taxing of the 6,000 Euro biannual subsidy to Air-Force pilots.
At the same time the harbour of Piraeus remains closed due to the continuing seafaring workers strike. Meanwhile PAME (Communist Party union umbrella) allied hotel workers have occupied the Ministry of Labour. The workers have declared they will continue the occupation until the Minister comes to meet them.