Athens worker says unions will step up fight against rotten deal with Europe
Furious workers across Greece were preparing to walk out against a crippling new austerity package imposed by Europe’s rulers as Socialist Worker went to press.
Christos Arghyris, a union rep at Athens’ large Gennimatas hospital, spoke to Socialist Worker about the situation.
“We used our votes as a weapon against austerity,” he said. “Now we’re going to use the weapon of strikes.
“We’ve called a general strike across the public sector on Wednesday of this week, with a mass demonstration against all the new austerity measures.
“It was an easy decision. Workers are responding to the new agreement the same way they responded in the week of the referendum. They are just as angry as they were when they voted no.
“Then they were angry at the blackmail from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
“Now they are angry at prime minister Alexis Tsipras for signing a deal with them—Greece’s third ‘memorandum’ of austerity.
“The working class in Greece is not stepping back. And that struggle will continue, with more general strikes on every day parliament votes on the austerity measures.
“Even members of Tsipras’ left wing party Syriza are saying that they said no and that they’ll continue to say no.
“They’re very angry as neither the EU leaders nor Tsipras took any notice of that no.
“So now they want to say no with strikes.”
Time to show your solidarity and support the struggle
Ordinary people in Britain and across the globe have taken to the streets to show solidarity with people fighting austerity in Greece. Here are some things you can do to show your support:
- Send a message of support to strikers to firstname.lastname@example.org from your union branch, campaign group or as an individual. This can help lay the basis for twinning with workplaces in the future
- Use the online petition to raise awareness and to take a collection for Greek workers—download at bit.ly/1RwiRjA
- Join local demonstrations in support of the struggle in Greece. For more details go to greecesolidarity.org
- See if you can get a Skype link with a Greek striker if you have a union meeting coming up. Contact the SWP for contacts on 020 7819 1170