Greek Riot Squads Attack Small Farmers!

Small farmers with their tractors blockading a national road in central Greece. Photo courtesy
Small farmers with their tractors blockading a national road in central Greece. Photo courtesy

ARMED squads of the Greek riot police using tear gas and truncheons attacked hundreds of small farmers who were protesting by blockading a motorway on Wednesday just outside the city of Lamia in central Greece.

For a month now small farmers in central and northern Greece have been staging rallies and blockading national roads demanding cheaper petrol for their tractors and much less taxation.

The government has withdrawn subsidies from petrol for tractors while it has imposed high taxation on small farmers’ families.

Following the attack, small farmers’ representatives met and decided to carry on their fight including a national demonstration in Athens. But their leadership is far too timid in today’s situation where small farmers face utter poverty.

Many trade unions have sent messages of support to the small farmers’ blockades but no mass delegations.

A few hours after the riot police attack, two police appeared at the offices of the Technical Workers Trade union in Athens where the Coordination of Trades Unions were holding a representatives’ meeting.

Trades unionists protested at the local police station. They have organised a protest at the so-called Ministry for the Citizen, the building also houses the Greek secret services, this morning.

The GSEE (Greek TUC) estimates that over 600,000 workers in the private sector will have their wages cut by 15-30 per cent as several national collective agreements run out, and the government has stated that national agreements should be abolished in favour of so-called ‘in house’ business agreements or personal contracts.

Next week the GSEE have called yet another one-day general strike hoping to defuse the situation.

But in today’s profound and volatile economic collapse and revolutionary situation, workers’ rage has gone over the top.

The Trotskyists of the Revolutionary Marxist League (RML) have called on workers to turn the strike into an indefinite political general strike to overthrow the government and get rid of the trades unions’ treacherous bureaucracy.