Socialist Worker

Strikes over poverty pay after years of austerity in Greece

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2632

Public sector workers march in Athens during a strike last week

Public sector workers march in Athens during a strike last week (Pic: Workers Solidarity)

Workers across the private sector in Greece were set to strike on Wednesday of this week.

They are demanding wage and pensions increases after years of austerity imposed by successive governments and the European Union (EU).

Rail and ferry services in the capital Athens were expected to grind to a halt.

The walkout follows a strike by public sector workers on Wednesday of last week.

It also demanded pay and pension increases, as well as more workers.

It was the first major strike since Greece exited the “bailout” agreement in August, which was imposed by the EU and enforced austerity.

During the bailout left wing party Syriza imposed cuts in return for loans from the EU, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

Greece’s Syriza prime minister Alexis Tsipras promised “relief” and a “new era” when the agreement ended.

But he has agreed to strict spending limits for decades to come.

Yet the bailout exit has also led workers to demand measures to compensate for more than eight years of austerity.

And there have been growing strikes and pressure on union leaders to call united mass action.

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