Socialist Worker

Greece in eye of eurozone storm

Issue No. 2289

All eyes are on Greece. The ruling classes of Europe plan to save their system and their banks by driving through devastating austerity across the eurozone.

Greece is one of the smaller economies in the eurozone. But such is the scale of the crisis that if Greece fails it could drag the most powerful economies down with it.

European banks fear that a Greek default will mean they lose out on debt repayments. They are not concerned about the impact of the crisis on millions of ordinary people in Greece.

The bosses and politicians now want to impose unprecedented attacks on Greek workers. More than 15,000 public sector jobs are set to go, among other attacks. All of this is in a country that has already suffered from years of the harshest austerity.

But the plans to make Greek workers suffer are not going smoothly. Every attempt to impose more attacks has been met by a wave of resistance from the Greek working class.

This resistance is in the frontline of the battle against Europe’s bosses. Greek workers have already forced one government out of office. Now the replacement government—which was supposed to solve the crisis by “technocratic” means—finds that it too is struggling.

Meanwhile Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy are constantly flitting from one crisis summit the next. They are billing the latest cuts as the last chance to save the euro. They know that they are fighting to save their own skins—and to defend the interests of the European ruling class.

But Greece is not the only country where governments have been brought down by resistance to austerity. The prime minister and cabinet of Romania resigned last week because of mass opposition and a general strike against cuts.

And the news that workers have taken over their hospital in Greece shows the potential of this struggle. It can move beyond opposing austerity and start to offer a systematic alternative to the capitalists and their crisis.

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