HUNDREDS of thousands of Greek workers, students and unemployed are expected to take part in rallies and demonstrations in Athens and Salonica on Saturday against government plans for mass sackings and privatisation.
Speaking in the Reichstag on Tuesday, the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble called on the Greek government to honour its promises and impose immediately the economic ‘structural changes’ and privatisations.
Otherwise, he said, the Greek government won’t get the next IMF-European Committee loan instalment due at the end of September.
Just a couple of hours later the Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos answered his masters’ demands by loudly proclaiming in the Vouli’s (Greek parliament’s) Economic Committee that ‘all the privatisations and all the quantitative targets for 2011 (agreed with the EC) will be carried out, and we will move ahead with extreme speed.’
Venizelos stated that there will also be ‘reforms’ of the Greek judicial system and business and environmental legislation so that the IMF-EC diktats are implemented.
Last week major differences over the IMF-EC-ECB diktats arose between the Greek government and the troika representatives over schedules for privatisations and mass sackings of public sector workers.
The Greek Cabinet met on Tuesday afternoon and decided on what the German bankers and the European Commission wanted: the immediate privatisation of all state refineries and the gas network, the football pools and lotto gambling and Athens International Airport.
The Greek Cabinet also decided to further cut the wages of public sector workers and implement a plan to sack some 15,000 by the end of the year. All allowances to public service workers are to disappear while 200,000 will be ‘evaluated’ with the prospect of being put into ‘reserve’ for a year, getting just two thirds of their wages and then sacked.
The Deputy President of the ADEDY (public sector workers trade union federation) Elias Vretakos said that the government is ‘carrying out a pogrom against public services and workers.’
German companies have bought a number of key Greek state enterprises that were sold off in the last few years, including Greek Telecom. Recently the German Foreign Minister stated that German firms would like ‘to invest’ in Greece if they are given ‘special economic zones’ where Greek labour laws would not be applicable!