Socialist Worker

Greece: cuts lies fall apart as crisis deepens

by Panos Garganas, reporting from Athens
Issue No. 2293

European leaders say that cuts stave off crisis.

They argue that International Monetary Fund and European Union cuts have worked in Ireland and Portugal.

They say the problem in Greece is that Greece has obstructed their reforms.

But there’s a problem with this propaganda.

Governments in Spain, Portugal and Ireland recently announced more cuts.

In Ireland the government has been forced to call a referendum on the cuts. And in Spain there have been huge demonstrations.

European leaders also use Italy as an example to follow.

But the European Central Bank has pumped 1 trillion euros into Italy since Christmas.

Without this, Italy would face a similar crisis to that in Greece.

In Greece, prime minister Lucas Papademos has announced that elections will take place towards the end of April.

The official explanation is that the government was installed to sign the bailout deal.

Therefore they argue that it has concluded the task and can call elections.

But the truth is that mass protests last month meant they had to call elections to try and diffuse anger.

The movement in Greece is still fighting.

The civil service workers’ confederation of unions will call a strike at the end of March.

They want to coordinate it with private sector unions so this could be another general strike.

Each week we see one or two days of strikes against hospital closures. Housing workers are also holding strikes and occupations.

Both of these groups of workers marched in Athens on Wednesday of last week.

The strike at the Eleftherotypia newspaper continues.

Strikers are set to produce the third issue of their workers’ controlled newspaper soon.

And occupiers at the Alter TV station have stopped bosses from cutting off their electricity.

Power workers sent a delegation to the workplace—and within five minutes convinced those sent to cut off the power to stop.

The election will see a big fight. The Tory New Democracy Party has blamed the left for the problems in Greece’s economy.

It’s no wonder the ruling class is anxious. The combined vote of the far left now stands at around 40 percent.

Panos Garganas is editor of Workers Solidarity, Socialist Worker’s sister paper in Greece

Protest: Solidarity with the Greek resistance, Saturday, 2pm at the Greek embassy, 1A Holland Park, London W11 3TP


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International
Tue 6 Mar 2012, 18:39 GMT
Issue No. 2293
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