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Vast crowds massed outside the Greek parliament in Athens last Wednesday night
250,000 workers, youth and professionals demonstrated outside the Vouli (Greek parliament) in central Athens last Wednesday evening against the Austerities Measures Bill and demanding the overthrow of the tripartite coalition government.

The action was called by the GSEE (Greek TUC) who organised a two-day general strike last Tuesday and Wednesday.

The demonstration, one of the biggest ever in Greece, was a magnificent manifestation of the determination of the Greek workers and youth to get rid of the government, a tool of the troika of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and of the European Central Bank.

The sheer mass of workers and their determination, despite the riot police’s tear-gas attacks, almost defeated the police’s plans to forcibly clear demonstrators out of the square in front of the Vouli, and came close to overthrowing the government as parliamentary deputies were told either back Austerities or chaos by the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

The vote for the Bill in the Vouli on Wednesday midnight revealed the huge political defeat of the coalition government.

The Bill was passed by just 153 votes to 150 in the 300 seats Vouli, with several government deputies voting against while the deputies of the Democratic Left, a government partner, abstained. Immediately at the end of the voting procedure the leaders of the New Democracy conservative party and of the PASOK social-democratic party issued decrees expelling those deputies who either voted against or abstained.

The Greek government has passed the Bill but has suffered a huge blow, and it is unlikely to survive for much longer.

It faces a furious and determined working class and youth who are now confident that they can beat the government despite the treacheries of the trade union bureaucracy and of the Coalition of the Radical Left party and of the Greek Communist Party who are refusing to lead an all-out assault on the government.

Last Tuesday’s mass demonstration in Athens – dominated by ‘overthrow the government’ calls through a ‘permanent strike’ – gave notice of what was to come on Wednesday evening.


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