Greek general strike, May 20

This video from the USA says about itself:

Labor Notes’ Mark Brenner Counters Fox News Budgeting Cutting Fever

4 May 2010 — The imagery couldn’t be less subtle. Against a backdrop of Greek workers in the streets fighting budget cuts and layoffs (and the Greek police), Fox News host Neil Cavuto asks Labor Notes’ Mark Brenner “Is this coming here?” Too bad they aren’t interested in real solutions. Corporate honchos and their Wall Street pals may have crashed the economy, but somehow it’s teachers and librarians that we ought to blame. Mark gives as good as he gets, putting the blame for our economic woes squarely where it belongs. Wall Street has already picked our pockets, now they’re trying to steal our pants.

From the World Socialist Web Site:

Greece: May 20 general strike call

Greece’s two main public and private sector unions have announced a May 20 general strike to protest pension reforms.

The work stoppage will be the latest in a series of protests that have erupted since the Greek government adopted a plan requiring $30 billion in cuts in order to secure a $145 billion international bailout package.

The proposed austerity measures include reductions in civil service pensions and wage freezes.

Greece’s debt crisis has raised concerns that financial and social instability could spread to other European countries, including Spain and Portugal.

On May 12, the European Commission proposed that European Union countries submit their national budget plans to the commission for review before taking the proposals to their national parliaments.

WSWS reporters interviewed workers in Perama, a working-class port city in the Athens suburbs, on the impact and political significance of the social cuts carried out by Prime Minister George Papandreou: here.

Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez has warned that her country’s experience shows that austerity measures are exactly the wrong medicine in a debt crisis – and so Europe’s rescue plan for Greece is “condemned to failure”: here.


1 thought on “Greek general strike, May 20

  1. Spain’s Public Employees Plan Strike

    MADRID – One of Spain’s two biggest labor federations announced Thursday a general strike by public employees on June 2 to protest government plans to cut their pay by 5 percent as part of an austerity package.

    The walkout will follow a series of marches and protests set to begin next week, the UGT, which is affiliated with the ruling Socialists, said in a statement.

    The plan presented Wednesday by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero includes the pay cut for public employees, a suspension of cost of living adjustments for most pensioners and an end to payments for the birth or adoption of a child.

    Zapatero’s administration says the measures will reduce public outlays by $19 billion during the 2010-2011 period and help Spain meet the goal of reducing its budget deficit – now more than 11 percent of gross domestic product – to 3 percent of GDP by 2013.

    The general strike aims to “confront the situation generated by the unprecedented aggression which signifies failure to comply with a functioning accord that already contemplated the economic crisis scenario,” the UGT said, referring to the social pact among workers, employers and the government.

    The UGT said it will urge other labor organizations to join protests planned for May 20, when the lower house of Parliament is due to debate the executive order mandating public sector pay cuts.

    The other major union federation, Comisiones Obreras, has not ruled out calling for a general strike to express what its leader, Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, described as labor’s “absolute disagreement” with the austerity measures.

    Toxo issued the warning at a joint press conference with UGT chief Candido Mendez following their meeting Thursday with Zapatero.

    Statistics released Wednesday indicate the Spanish economy emerged from recession in the first quarter, but the jobless rate remains above 20 percent and the recovery is expected to be sluggish. EFE


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