Union leaders hailed today’s general strike as a complete success. Public services ground to a halt in all major cities from Alexandroupoli in the north to Sitia in the south. Public and private sector workers both joined the action.
Tens of thousands of trade unionists and anti-capitalists demonstrated, bringing the centre of Athens to a standstill. The protest was perhaps twice the size of the one during the general strike of 24 February. Many locals compared it to the mass action in 2001 which defeated a government attempt to cut pensions.
Protesters chanted “Make the bosses pay” and “Where has all the money gone?”
One striking worker told Socialist Worker, “The prime minister has just returned from a tour of world leaders – including Nicolas Sarkozy in France, Angela Merkal in Germany and Barack Obama.
“They all congratulated him for his courageous neoliberal reforms which has seen outrageous attacks on peoples pensions, wages and job security. But now he has to face the anger of the Greek people and these strikes are just the beginning.”
Greek workers are stepping up their resistance to austerity measures being enforced by the European Union.
Riot police attempted to split the demonstration, but were met by fierce resistance. Skirmishes continued until the end when they were seen off from the area surrounding Athens Polytechnic.
Full report in next week’s Socialist Worker