Greek workers’ general strike

This video says about itself:

‘Starve society to impose unseen poverty’: EU chiefs’ way out of crisis

Feb 14, 2013

France says it’s unlikely to meet its target of reducing the public deficit to the 3 percent limit set by the EU. Portugal and Spain are also trying to deal with unprecedented levels of unemployment, while Greece has suffered ongoing protests over its austerity policies. For more, RT talks to social analyst and philosophy lecturer at the University of the Aegean, Panagiotis Sotiris.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

General strike brings Athens to a standstill

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Tens of thousands of Greek workers walked off the job today and rallied in front of parliament in a huge protest against government plans to sack public-sector staff.

Over 30,000 demonstrators – including police and teachers facing the axe – beat drums and blew whistles in one of the biggest Greek anti-austerity protests this year.

Protesters chanted: “No more sacrifices” and waved banners that read: “Fire the troika.”

Civil aviation unions staged a four-hour work stoppage and Athens’s transport system was hit, with bus and trolleybus drivers walking out.

Trains stopped running and tax offices and municipal services remained shut.

Rubbish collectors, bus drivers, bank employees and journalists were among other groups that joined the walkout.

Public and private-sector unions ADEDY and GSEE called the strike and have brought workers to the streets many times since late 2009.

Greece’s troika creditors, which have bailed it out twice with €240 billion (£209bn) of aid, are insisting on progress in hacking back the 600,000-strong public sector.

Athens has a list of 12,500 workers slated for a “mobility pool” in which they are given eight months to find work in another department or get sacked.

About 25,000 workers will be placed in the scheme by the end of the year, which is deeply unpopular at a time when unemployment stands at an all-time high of 27 per cent.

“The policy of mass layoffs, the dismantling of public institutions responsible and the demolition of any notion of labour rights inaugurate a new undemocratic governance of the country,” the ADEDY public-sector union warned.

MPs voted today to indict former finance minister George Papaconstantinou over his handling of data on Greeks with Swiss bank accounts.

A panel of senior judges will determine whether Mr Papaconstantinou should face trial over the fate of a list of about 2,000 alleged tax evaders provided by French authorities in 2010.

Greek authorities failed to investigate the data for potential tax evasion, and the names of three of Mr Papaconstantinou’s relatives were allegedly removed from the list.

See also here.

Once a rising economic power in the Balkans, a crushing economic crisis has stripped Greece of much of its wealth and pushed to ahead of only neighbors Romania and Bulgaria among the poorest countries in the European Union: here.

This music video is the song Dodenrit, by Dutch comedian Drs. P.

I include it here, because it is about a troika; and at the end of the song, things go very badly for the troika.

No, the troika in the song is not the European Union, the European central bank, and the IMF, all three of them ramming “austerity” down the throat of the Greek people. The song is from 1974. And it is not about Greece, but about a Russian troika near Omsk city in Siberia. From when czars still ruled Russia.

The song uses “Big Bad Wolf” clichés about hungry wolves trying to devour humans on sledges. These clichés are not true; but here, they help to make the song funny.

The Greek government has used the visit on Thursday by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble to impose a blanket ban on demonstrations in central Athens: here.

GREEK civil servants staged a one-day strike in the Athens area last Friday against the coalition government’s plan to sack some 15,000 ministries workers in August: here.

5 thoughts on “Greek workers’ general strike

  1. Civil servants protest in Athens

    On August 2, civil servants in Athens, Greece, protested at the gates of the Acropolis against government plans to involuntarily move 500 workers at the culture ministry into a national Labour Mobility scheme.

    The workers are part of 25,000 public sector workers who are to be moved into the scheme by the end of 2013. According to estimates, about one third of these will be eventually fired.

    The employees protesting at the Acropolis did not block its entrance. The workers protested next to a mock cut of a temple with “For Sale” signs attached to it. Action by workers at other museums around the country, including the archaeological museum on the island of Santorini, resulted in their closure.

    Associated Press/Enet reported the comments of Despina Koutsoumba, head of the Association of Greek Archaeologists (SEA). He said, “As things stand, we don’t have enough people to function properly. We have to cover 19,000 archaeological sites and 210 museums nationwide, as well as several hundred archaeological excavations in progress all over the country.

    “We have 6,600 staff at the ministry of culture and sport, and they will dismiss 500. But they will just have to hire that number back again—of course, on part-time contracts and for less money.”

    The same day, civil servants in Athens continued a second day of strikes, holding a rally in the capital.


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