|The News Line: News
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
GREEK WORKERS DEMAND ALL-OUT GENERAL STRIKE – to halt attack on pensions and defeat privatisation plans
LAST Wednesday’s general strike in Greece, against the government’s reactionary Pensions Bill, marks a most critical turning point in the fast developing revolutionary situation.
|Greek workers defending their pensions and jobs
The mass and militant strike and the huge demonstration in Athens have produced a sharp political crisis in the days since then, and forced the right-wing Greek government to postpone voting on the Bill in the Vouli (Greek parliament) for a week, until this Wednesday.
The government holds a majority of just one in the Vouli, but that is sufficient to make the Bill a law. On a preliminary vote, the government was able to muster 152 votes.
The crisis has also hit forcefully the social-democrats of the PASOK party – the Opposition – and the reformist trade union leaders of the GSEE (Greek TUC), who have refused calls to organise more mobilisations and another general strike for this week.
The leadership of PASOK and the trade union bureaucrats have hidden behind the demand for a referendum on the Pensions Bill tabled in the Vouli by the small party of the Coalition of the Left.
The Stalinist leadership of the KKE (Greek Communist Party) have also supported the call for a referendum without organising trade union mobilisations.
It is clear that the whole political system has been truly shaken and frightened by the power of last week’s workers’ action and its political and trade union leaders are looking to defuse the situation at any cost.
But the feeling within the Greek working class against the Pensions Bill and the inaction of the opposition parties and of the trade union leaders, is boiling and reaching explosion level.
The working class anger is not going to subside: neither by the vote on the Bill by the government majority this Wednesday, nor by the treachery of the social-democrats, the lefts, the Stalinists and the reformist trade union leaders.
Already the government’s Finance Minister Yiorghos Alogoskoufis has emphatically stated, last Friday, that the government will definitely vote in the Bill as it stands and will further proceed to yet another Pensions Bill for civil servants and a new wave of privatisations at Greek ports, Greek Telecom, the post office and Olympic Airways, the Greek state air carrier.
Greek workers in the post office, banks, electricity and at Olympic Airways are calling on their trade unions leaders to organise indefinite strike action against the Bill and privatisation. The GSEE bureaucrats replied that they will fight the Bill at the European High Court.
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