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The News Line: News ‘TIME TO OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT’ – chant Greek workers
ATE bank workers on indefinite strike march through Athens with their banner stating ‘Hands off the bank!’
IN temperatures of 42 Celsius in the shade, over 1,000 striking bank workers of the Agrarian Bank (ATE) and of the Postal Bank (TT) yesterday jointly marched through the streets of central Athens.

They were continuously shouting rhyming, witty and very militant slogans against the sell-off of the two banks and for the overthrow of the Greek three-parties coalition government.

The most popular slogans were: ‘State banks won’t be sold – whoever does that will end up in prison’, ‘Greece has been sold to the EC-IMF – our answer is mass struggle’, ‘Throw the hoodlums troika, government and bankers out of Greece’, ‘Put the bankers in jail!’, and ‘The time to overthrow the government has come!’

The bank workers marched to the Finance Ministry in Athens city centre.

A huge battle is raging within the SEATE (ATE Bank trade union) as the union leaders have pushed through a decision to start talks with the bankers from Piraeus Bank which is to buy the Agrarian Bank.

A large section of ATE Bank workers, who voted against this decision last Monday, are furious and are fighting to reverse it and instead fight for a national all bank workers’ strike.

But the SEATE leaders refuse to even appeal to the OTOE (bank workers’ federation) and to the GSEE (Greek TUC) for active immediate assistance with a general strike.

It is of course no accident that right in the heart of the holiday period, with the Vouli (Greek parliament) shut down, the Greek coalition government is pushing through a huge rearrangement of the banking system which is centred around the sell-off of all the state banks and the fusion of all the private banks into just two or three.

A condition of the EC-IMF 130bn euros bail-out Accord with Greece of last spring was the ‘re-capitalisation’ of all Greek banks out of bankruptcy.

Over 18bn euros were given to just four private banks while both the ATE and the TT where given nothing at all.

Now the government says that Piraeus Bank (given over 20bn euros since 2010) is ‘healthy’ and the Agrarian and TT banks are ‘not viable’!


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