New General Strike in Greece

A new general strike called by GSEE and ADEDY will be taking place on Tuesday 29 June in Greece, with Communist workers once again already blocking Peiraeus harbour.

In what looks like a final union move of pressure towards the Greek government before the onset of summer proper, GSEE and ADEDY, the private and public sector umbrella unions have called for a new general strike for Tuesday 29 of June. The strike comes as a response to the package of new austerity measures targeting pensions, wages and compensations announced by the Socialist Party two weeks ago. The proposed bill was supposed to be passed via Presidential decree but after a backbencher and grassroots rebellion within the Socialist Party, the PM has been forced to promise it will be brought to the vote in Parliament. However, in a rare instance of explicit pressure, he has warned that if his MPs fail to vote for the bill he will dissolve the Parliament and call for emergency elections. Under the new electorate law, this would mean that his Party could secure as many seats as today with a far smaller percentage of the general vote (currently down from 44% to 25% for the Socialists according to the polls). All transport including internal flights will be halted for Tuesday, while the participation of the journalists in the strike will mean a news black-out for 24 hours.

Preludes to the general strike this Monday included a Communist led blockade of the Peiraeus harbour, stopping all passenger boats from leaving or entering it. The PAME practice has led to pitched verbal battles with the government and a large portion of the press which accuses the Communists as in breach of democratic rules of protest. At the same time, workers continue to occupy the HQ of the National Electric Company in Athens, with a huge banner hanging from its front reading: "We do not Sell, We are not being Sold-out".

The constructive and mass labour mobilisations come in stark contrast to the latest act of self-proclaimed revolutionaries who last Thursday performed one of the most grotesque acts of armed violence by attacking the offices of the Minister of Public Order (Civil Protection) with a mail bomb which assassinated the chief-aid of the Minister. According to the national news agencies, the mail bomb was sent earlier during the week, putting the lives of dozens of mail workers and ordinary citizens at risk. It is the first time in Greece that such blind attack is performed, underlining the ever greater marginalisation and social alienation (if not mental derangement) of the armed groups in operation in the country.

Posted By

taxikipali
Jun 28 2010 11:02

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taxikipali
Jun 28 2010 14:51

It must be further underlined that today the Greek government announced plans for a three year freezing of salaries in the private sector. The announcement which carried the ominous phrasing "the decision has been already finalised" has come as yet another shock to the workers of the country. Meanwhile the Lawyers' Association of Athens and ADEDY have taken the government to court claiming the IMF-EU austerity pack is anti-constitutional.

Samotnaf
Jun 29 2010 07:29

The Greek ruling class seem to be embarking on a very risky strategy - attacking the private sector at the same time as the public; surely this undermines the guilt-inflicting ideology that the public sector are overpaid and under-worked, no? And could help unite the private and public sector workers that so far seem to have been pretty divided, as far as I can see. What do you think, taxikipali?

taxikipali
Jun 29 2010 09:39

I agree Sam, it is really difficult to understand what they are trying to achieve by that, unless its a strategy of all-out attack to intimidate society as a whole. It must be said that many industrialists are criticising the government for its decisions, so even the ruling class is divided over it.

Samotnaf
Jun 29 2010 10:48

Hope the working class takes advantage of these divisions - and not just in Greece; though they want to put on a good united front for their Europe-wide/worldwide austerity attacks, it seems that they're not at all clear that they'll work - for one thing, too much belt-tightening doesn't help a modern economy dependent as it is on purchasing power and mass consumption, though they might just want to have a working class even more divided than ever in terms of the money hierarchy, with only a minority (even if fairly large) having access to the latest consumer goods; though perhaps this is being discussed on some other thread (don't know - don't have the time, for example, to look at the crisis thread with it's 1000 plus posts....).

all the best -

Sam

Uncreative
Jun 30 2010 11:58

Taxikipali, do you know anything about the 'base unions'? I was at a meeting in Leeds where someone from OL did a talk about the situation in Greece generally and he mentioned them, sounded interesting.

Cheers for the updates.