Home | Friday 25th June 2010 | Issue 728
UP SHIT GREEK
The tide of strikes and general disorder continues across Greece (see SchNEWS 720) as austerity measures begin to bite.
The Ministry of Public Order was shown exactly how orderly the Greek public currently are when a bomb went off on its 7th floor yesterday (24th), killing a senior ministerial aide. Previous bombings have targeted prisons and courthouses.
In the past week alone there’s been several smaller public sector strikes, most impressive of which was the Piraeus dockworker’s strike. Organised mainly by PAME (middle of the road Communists), the dockworkers prescribed a 24hr blockade on the country’s main port last Monday (14th).
In retaliation the courts declared the action illegal, leading to PAME blocking all entrances to the port again on Wednesday (23rd). All tourist boats had to cancel their trips to the islands. Asked by the tourist cartel why the dockworkers were not treated “as the law requires”, the Ministry of Public Order claimed that “such problems are not solved by means of repression”. Elsewhere industrial action against the austerity measures has included a 24hr strike by journos which saw all TV, Radio and internet news unplugged for the day and a complete public transport strike in Athens.
Another general strike looms. In preparation, this week began with the abstention of markers from the final exams. On Wednesday (23rd) a law attacking social insurance was due to be voted in parliament. Grassroots trade unions alongside GSEE and ADEDY (garden variety trade unions) held demonstrations in Athens with hundreds in attendance. The voting has now been postponed for Monday. As seems to be the fad, hospital doctors went on a 24hr strike across the country. At the same time railway workers will be engaging in rolling two-hour stoppages throughout the week that are predicted to periodically interrupt all major train journeys in the country.
Meanwhile the government is hesitating to bring its new anti-labour laws before Parliament for a vote as the PM is fearful of his rule collapsing. You don’t say...