SOME thirty thousand Greek workers, youth and students held a rally on Thursday evening outside the Vouli (Greek parliament) in Athens.
Inside, the Greek Prime Minister Yiorghos Papandreou organised a parliamentary coup so that the IMF-European Commission-dictated barbaric austerity measures were rubber stamped by deputies with just a few hours debate, an unprecedented event.
Papandreou won the vote but the result and the procedures have intensified the political crisis to explosion levels.
Three government deputies refused to vote for the Bill, ‘Measures for the implementation of the mechanism for the support of the Greek economy by member states of the International Monetary Fund’, and were immediately expelled by Papandreou even before the counting of the votes was completed.
The fanatically pro-imperialist ex-Foreign Minister and number two of the Greek Tories, Dora Bakoyianni, voted for the government Bill; she was immediately expelled by the leader of her party Antonis Samaras.
The Bill was passed with a total of 172 votes in the 300 seats Vouli, from the government and from the racist party LAOS deputies plus Bakoyianni’s vote.
The Greek Tories voted against as did the KKE (Greek Communist party) and Coalition of the Left.
Greece is now ruled by an IMF-Commission junta represented in the Vouli by a coalition of ‘socialists’, racists and an arch pro-imperialist political figure.
This is an extremely volatile regime that cannot last long.
Meanwhile, the OTOE bank workers union has accused the Marfin Egnatia bank, where in one of its branches last Wednesday – the day of the general strike – three employees died of fire fumes, that the branch ‘did not have an able fire fighting system, there was no fire exit and the doors were locked.’
On Thursday evening the square in front of the Vouli was flooded once again by many thousands of workers. Scores of riot police were positioned in front of the building.
After the Communist Party and Socialist Workers Party supporters led marches out of the square, the remaining eight-10,000 workers and Polytechnic students were attacked by the riot police using noise bombs and concentrated tear gas imported from Israel.
During Thursday night, riot police carried out searches and raids around the Polytechnic area. Trade unionists reported that over 50 persons had been arrested.