Greek ministries occupied!

A section of demonstrating taxi drivers with their banner stating ‘No to the monopolies and cartels’
A section of demonstrating taxi drivers with their banner stating ‘No to the monopolies and cartels’

FOLLOWING the example set by school and university students, Greek civil servants carried out a mass occupation of ten ministries on Thursday morning.

The State Accountant Office and the ministries of Economy, Agriculture, Trade, Development, Labour, Health, Culture, Administrative Reform, Interior and Environment were occupied all day while the occupation of the Finance Ministry was set to last two days until yesterday evening.

This is an unprecendented tsunami of occupations against the visit of the IMF-EC-ECB troika to Greece, and against wage and pension cuts and mass sackings of civil servants and public sector workers.

Furious civil servants say that they have put half of the state, including the all important Finance Ministry, under workers’ control!

Last week, the Executive Committee of ADEDY (Public Sector Workers Federation) passed a resolution calling for occupations and mobilisations towards a national strike on October 5th.

Civil servants placed large banners with the words ‘Under Occupation’ on the façade of ministries and government buildings while the troika representatives were restricted to the Bank of Greece building.

Hundreds of civil servants gathered outside the occupied ministries with their banners to defend their action. But the riot police were nowhere to be seen. Only on Thursday evening did armed riot police in full gear appear, outside the occupied Finance Ministry.

A stormy meeting of over 700 civil servants and public sector workers called by the ADEDY was held in the afternoon at a packed theatre in central Athens.

Speaker after speaker condemned the ADEDY leadership as ‘behind the times’ ‘reactionary’, ‘supporters of the government’.

S Koulouris, a customs worker, said that it was a disgrace that the ADEDY leaders met Horst Reichenbach, the head of the European Commission’s Task Force which has placed ‘controllers’ at every single Greek ministry.

Koulouris, like many civil servants and health workers who spoke, called for a fight to overthrow the government and for a 48-hour general strike. Other workers were even bolder calling for an ‘indefinite protracted struggle’, for ‘a five-day general strike’ and for an ‘indefinite political general strike’.

But all the speakers, despite their high militancy, could not answer the vital point made by Yiorghos Arkadis from the occupation of the Finance Ministry, who said, ‘alright we shall overthrow the government, but then what?’

Only the Revolutionary Marxist League, the Greek section of the Fourth International had the answer, that ‘the working class must take the power and establish a workers and small farmers government’.