Cracks in Greece’s government are deepening in the run-up to a vote on next year’s budget.
It narrowly survived a no confidence vote on Sunday of last week. Junior coalition party Pasok was forced to expel another MP for siding against it. The government now has just 153 MPs out of 300.
The new crisis was sparked by its attempt to end workers’ resistance at the state broadcaster ERT. This has been under workers’ control since the government tried to close it in June.
Police raided ERT at 4am on Thursday of last week. “They broke down doors to get in and stopped the radio broadcast,” ERT journalist Maria Kodaxi told Socialist Worker.
“We rallied outside. Police used tear gas and pushed the workers who tried to get in.”
By the evening there were mass protests, with more planned for this weekend.
And round the clock picketing by ERT workers and supporters has stopped the government from getting strikebreakers in or any equipment out of the building.
The raid came just hours after a general strike when thousands marched in central Athens despite torrential rain.
The day before that officials visited from Greece’s Troika of international creditors—the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. Cleaners chased them out of the finance ministry.
Those cleaners and ERT workers have called a demonstration for Thursday of this week. University workers in their tenth week of all-out strike will join them. Teachers plan to shut schools for four hours to join the march.
They demand the government stops mass sackings—and that unions call another general strike.
The anniversary of the 1973 uprising against Greece’s dictatorship was expected to bring new demonstrations this weekend. The uprising began at one of the universities still shut by strikes.
Syriza, the main opposition party, triggered the no-confidence vote and called for the government to resign.
Panos Garganas, editor of Workers’ Solidarity newspaper, said, “The government said that it was irresponsible for them to resign in the middle of negotiations with the Troika. But this is ludicrous.
“They are negotiating another round of cuts—doing to the defence sector what they did to ERT.
“Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras said before the debate that it would be a catastrophe if Greece left the Euro.
“The government pointed out that it is what it has said all along, which was embarrassing for Syriza. But pressure from below means that the government is struggling to hang on.”
Athens municipal council has voted to defend councillor Petros Constantinou, leader of the Keerfa anti-racist and anti-fascist coalition, from persecution by the government.
Workers Solidarity newspaper is also calling for solidarity against prosecution by a lawyer and advisor to a fascist Golden Dawn MP.
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