Savage Greek property tax provokes mass revolt

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In the past few days electricity bills delivered to Greek households have contained a demand for the hated new property tax.

This tax, which ranges between half a euro right up to twenty euros per square metre of property, has been levelled by the government of the ‘socialist’ prime minister, Papandreou, and is yet another tax designed to rake in two billion euros by the end of the year, money which the European Union and the IMF are demanding from the Greek working class in order to pay off the state debt.

Ever since the sovereign debt crisis erupted in Greece, the European Union have demanded their pound of flesh from the Greek people in the form of savage wage cuts, reductions in social benefits, mass sackings and huge increases in all forms of taxation

This has led to a massive tax revolt with workers and the middle classes simply refusing to pay things like road tolls.

The added twist to this new tax is the method of collection.

The threat from the government is that if the new property tax is not paid then the electricity supply to households will be cut off.

In the second decade of the twenty first century, a bankrupt capitalist system is declaring that it is willing to turn the clock back to the days before electricity.

In cutting off electrical supplies to entire households  the Papandreou government is signalling that it is quite prepared to put the lives of entire families at risk in order to repay the banks who caused the crisis in the first place.

When the plan to use the threat of cutting off electricity supplies was first unveiled several weeks ago, workers occupied the offices of the supply company preventing these bills from being printed as usual.

Sales of electricity generators have soared since then as the entire population prepares to disobey these diktats from the EU and the demands of the capitalist banks.

Such is the all-encompassing nature of the crisis that even elected officials, such as local mayors, have turned town halls over to anti-tax campaigners and provided information on how to pay the electricity bill without paying the property tax.

The anger of the Greek people has been greatly increased following last week’s summit of Eurozone countries which made it absolutely clear that the Greek economy would now be run by EU ‘monitors’ who will be located in Athens and who will dictate and direct the attacks on the working class.

With wages already slashed by up to 60% through pay cuts and tax increases, and with more cuts on the way as part of the new ‘austerity’ measures imposed as part of the desperate attempt to stave off Greek default and the consequent collapse of the entire banking system of Europe, the conditions have been created where workers and their families will simply not be able to live.

This has created an openly insurrectionary situation in Greece with numerous general strikes and occupations of government buildings along with open defiance of any attempt to collect taxes that will be used to pay off the bankers.

The immediate demand in Greece must be for the powerful movement of workers and youth to demand the removal of the government and its replacement with a workers and small farmers government that will repudiate all debt, nationalise the banks and industry and go forward to socialism.

This requires the building of a revolutionary leadership, not just in Greece but in every country – sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International – to lead this powerful movement of workers and youth to the victory of the world socialist revolution.