Socialist Worker

Pickets and protests in Greece as workers go for general strike

As the Greek government prepares a new package of cuts, Julie Sherry reports on the growing strike wave that has put them under pressure

Issue No. 2325


The second general strike this autumn in Greece was set to take place on Thursday of this week. Several sections of workers are already striking.

The general strike was called to coincide with a summit in Brussels where the Greek government is set to present a new austerity package. It is under immense pressure from a new wave of strikes against austerity.

A demonstration against a visit from German chancellor Angela Merkel brought 300,000 onto the streets on Monday of last week.

Now disagreements between the government and the “troika”—the European Central Bank, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund—have delayed the cuts going to parliament until next week. It looks likely that another general strike will be called to coincide with this.

Meanwhile doctors and lawyers were planning a coordinated walkout on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Other hospital workers have been demanding a 48-hour strike.

Engineers working in the civil service were also set to strike on Wednesday. This follows a number of stoppages since the last general strike a fortnight ago.

Occupations

And the local government workers’ union federation has called for occupations of town halls. The workers they represent have not been paid for months. In Keratsini in the south west, they have been occupying the town hall since last week.

Panos Garganas, editor of the Workers’ Solidarity newspaper in Greece, told Socialist Worker, “The movement towards escalating the strikes is very strong now.

“It’s still unclear whether we’ll have another general strike next week. But we’ll either see sectors of workers escalating on their own, or fresh general strikes.”

Alongside the resurgent working class resistance, the fascist Golden Dawn party is trying to exploit the despair created by the crisis. Last week Golden Dawn demanded that the local authorities minister give it figures for how many migrant children attend pre-school education.

He started to do so, until uproar halted him in his tracks. Fascists are a real threat in Greece—but workers are organising against them. A new anti-fascist coalition held its first conference on Saturday of last week.


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