Greece is in turmoil. Violent clashes have shaken the city of Agrinio in the west. Supporters of the far-right Golden Dawn party fought with anarchists, leaving cars and shop windows smashed, and one person injured. Golden Dawn’s influence is rising. It gained around 7 per cent of the vote in the recent general election. RT’s Jacob Greaves takes a look at xenophobia in today’s Greece.
The situation in Greece is critical both for the people and the working class. Because of the imperialist dependence of the country, its position in the EU and the Eurozone, its military-political dependence in NATO and its military-political role as a NATO-US springboard, the social and political developments in Greece cannot be seen apart from the developments in SE Mediterranean, the M. East., N. Africa, the Balkans and the quarrels inside the EU.
All contradictions and geo-political aims of the imperialist powers in the region, along with the special but critical issue of the future of the EU, are influencing all developments in our country, having in their background the world crisis. That is the reason that Greece is in the first page of the Media something that is proportionately greater than that of other countries similar to Greece (Portugal, Ireland).
The troika mechanism and its real targets
Starting after the October 2009 elections and the troika (IMF-EU-ECB) “salvation mechanism” of May 2010 there is in motion a rapidly escalating antipopular and antilabor policy that flattens all economic-labor-social rights of the people. The imperialist powers of the EU, mainly Germany and France, aided by the strong presence of the US through the IMF, and with the pretext of the great foreign debt imposed a deeper subjugation that takes the form of a protectorate.
This mechanism gives shark loans in 3-month installments in order to pay back a portion of the huge interests. This leads to greater debt. (In 2009 the debt was 120% of GDP and now approaches 160%). But the greatest imperialist profit is not the huge amounts of money that accumulate through this loan shark imposition. The main return that they take from the country is its total destruction of any productive base, the imposition of a medieval regime as far as the labor, social, economic and political rights of the people are concerned, and the sell-out and plunder of every resource and infrastructure this country has. Continue reading →
13 December 2011 — More than a thousand of disabled people protested against government cuts and their impact on key benefits such as the disability living allowance, and disability pension.
Waving placards with slogans such as “No to dismantling the welfare state” and “Protect disabled from the misery, poverty and exclusion”, disabled people took to the streets of Athens center to protest at the government’s spending cuts.
The protesters, many of whom had never been on a demonstration before, included people who are virtually immobile with supporters, relatives, charities and friends.
In front of the Greek Parliament Riot Police closed the road not allowing them to go near the Prime Minister Hall, where they wanted to deliver their requests.
Approximately 100 ministry contractual employees barricaded themselves inside the Acropolis overnight on Wednesday, 13 October, demanding two years of back pay and permanent contracts. They padlocked the entrance gates and refused to allow in tourists.
Guardians of the Acropolis site (Athens, Greece) work on behalf of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism either as civil servants (with permanent contracts) or as contractual employees (with temporary contracts).
More than 400 contract-workers of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism have been working unpaid for up to 22 months. These are workers who have up to 20 years of service. The Greek government shows them the door of unemployment. Most of them will be laid off after years of flexible and underpaid work.
The following morning, Thursday, 14 October, the director of the First Inspectorate of Prehistoric Classical Antiquities, filed a lawsuit, thus giving an excuse to police squads to storm the site. Approximately 80 employees refused to open the gate against police squads, even when cops entered from a side door tear-gassing and beating with fury protesters, passers-by, even (so-called) journalists. There were people injured (unconfirmed number) and at least one witnessed arrest.
Workers remained in the archaeological site, which was shut down throughout the day. The same afternoon, under heavy rain, a solidarity gathering had been called in the presence of police and security force. The assemblers were beaten by police. Two of the slogans were ‘Beneath the Acropolis we go on strike; we think of the slaves rather than Phidias,’ and ‘Solidarity is peoples’ weapon – War against the bosses’ war.’ Continue reading →