Less than 24h after the announcement of the hardest austerity measures in the history of the greek republic, strikes have erupted in the public sector.
Tax-collectors and customs officers have been the first public sector branches to spontaneously react to the government's austerity measures. The two public sector branches have gone on a 48h preemptive strike, halting all tax-office transactions and controls as well as freezing import-export activities. At the same time, the employees of the Ministry of Economics, responsible for imposing the austerity measures, have also gone on a 48h strike, blocking all entrances to the Ministry in Athens.
The spontaneous mobilisations come in a general climate of anger when the call of the Greek Prime Minister for national unity and self-sacrifice has already become the laughing stock in the massively popular morning satirical programs of bourgeois radio stations - amongst the general ridicule of the government televised drama, mock adds in the name of the Industrialist Club declaring that "its time for the poor to pay, the rich have payed enough" are being broadcasted. Anger is rising after the revelation of details concerning the austerity plan. These include a 2 year extra work before pension (from 35 to 37 years in total). The Communist Party (KKE) has called workers to "wage a war of counterattack" against the measures, while the Coalition of Radical Left has made the unprecedented move to ask the KKE to forge a front against the measures. The main opposition party of the Conservatives, kicked out of government last October, has pledged to support the government. Signaling the extreme-right turn of the party, one of its main MPs even called for the release of the fascist editor arrested two weeks ago during a neonazi attack on an anti-racist demo. A counter-demo against an anti-immigration demo on Saturday has been called by various anarchist groups.
At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture has declared it is unable to solve its issue with the farmers, who angered after the Minister managed to slip through their blockade of the Salonica Airport via rural backstreets, moved yesterday to block for several hours all motorway entrances to greece's second largest city. Farmer blockades continue to close the way to Bulgaria, was well as many major highways in the north of the country.
It must be noted that the trial of Alexandros Grigoropoulos murderers has been postponed for March when the procedure will begin again from scratch. At the same time the high court in Salonica has declared the Egyptian fishermen's strike in Nea Michanonia legal.