"There will be blood" warns greek labour minister as crisis deepens

Rioters burn Athens' Christmas tree in 2008

The Labour minster of the socialist government in greece has expressed fears of bloodshed due to the measures set to be imposed in the next 3 months in response to the debt crisis of the country.

Mr Lomberdos the Minster of Labour of the socialist party (PASOK) ruling greece since October this year has expressed worries that the measures needed to lift the national debt crisis that is threatening to kick greece out of the euro-zone might result in bloodshed. "There is little we can do to prevent that" he added, days after his resignation from office was overruled by the PM. The declaration that has hit the political and economic world in greece as a lightening in the midst of the rather reluctant Christmas festivities comes only days after the Communist Party (KKE 3rd largest in parliament) responded to his criticism of union take-overs of the Ministry of Labour and other government premises during protest marches this month by declaring that "workers and farmers have the right to resort to any means of struggle to defend their rights", a far step from the usual law-abiding stance of the KKE.

Last week the traditionally anarchist means of state-building occupations was employed for the first time by the KKE and the Radical Left Coalition. Members of the latter symbolically occupied a train bound to Salonica. The development has angered the government which has been seeking "national unity" to guarantee peaceful implementation of the austerity measures. The latter, the Minister of Labour, indicated could include a reduction of the current 14 pension salaries to only 10, a move that is sure to create an uproar as well as wide spread misery. The Minister has indicated that such measures "can only be implemented in a violent way".

Earlier this month the greek PM in an address to the Parliament had said that the national debt crisis is "the first national sovereignty crisis since 1974", i.e. since the Cyprus war and the collapse of the colonels' junta. Amidst spreading rumors in Athens that the government is not willing to implement the anti-popular measures alone, despite it having the largest parliamentary majority since the mid 80s, and that it is seeking to forge an emergency national unity government that will be able to suspend articles of the constitution protecting the right to public assembly, demonstration and strike, the new leader of the right-wing opposition, ultra-nationalist Mr Samaras, has gone public denying any intention to form a coalition government with PASOK in order to face the crisis. A further blow to the call of national unity has been most peculiarly dealt by a group of orthodox priests who have formed a "priests' struggle movement" . The priests have refused to denounce the armed struggle "as a means of defending the people's conquests", and have pledged to work through their churches to "rise class consciousness". It is the first time that such a rift appears in the usually monolithic orthodox church since the civil war when many priests took up arms against the monarcho-fascists.

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Dec 26 2009 15:41


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Dec 28 2009 08:57

On Sunday night just after 23:00 a mega-bomb hit the headquarters of the National Insurance in Athens on Sygrou avenue. The blast was heard in a radius of five miles across the city. The bomb believed by the authorities to be the work of the Recolutionary Struggle has gutted the building's ground floor smashing windows even across the wide avenue which has now been given to traffic again after hours of closure. There were no human injuries as the guerrillas made a call so that the police evacuates the place. The National Insurance Hq is a pompous building figuring as a symbol of prosperity and capitalist growth of the first half of the decade.

Dec 28 2009 19:39

In a communique the Sunday attack on National Insurance has been claimed by the Nuclei of Fire Conspiracy. The communique announces the upgrading of the guerrilla group to big bombs (in the spring of 2009 it had announced its upgrading from direct attacks to small bombs). However the authorities remain skeptical of the authenticity of the communique reasoning that it came too shortly after the attack. Forensics have confirmed that the explosion has caused serious structural damage to the building but no human injuries.

Dec 28 2009 19:44

but this has happened while a bunch of anarchists already in custody having been falsely accused of being the "nuclei of fire" is that correct? That being the case it would seem like another nail in the coffin of the prosecution's case...

Dec 28 2009 21:00

That should be the case Steven, but the state can always claim that it has not caught the whole group etc. The communique mentions: "this upgrading has been the product of a cooperation of one of our cells (/nuclei - same word in greek) with comrades in the context of the revolutionary evolution" adding that the group intends to make regular use of the new explosive technique. If that is the case it would mean that there are now three major urban guerrilla groups in greece, the Revolutionary Struggle, the Sect of Revolutionaries and the Nuclei of Fire Conspiracy, plus the shadowy OPLA group which claimed responsibility for the attack on the Agia Paraskevi police station with machine guns more than a month ago. There have not been so many active (and so active) guerrilla groups in the country since the end of the 1980s. We are still to see a serious radical analysis of the phenomenon in perspective of the December Uprising and the continuing social tension.