Occupiers won’t quit ERT

Workers listening to a classical music concert at the ERT grounds last Friday night
Workers listening to a classical music concert at the ERT grounds last Friday night

‘COME and get it if you dare!’ was the defiant reply of the ERT (Greek state TV and Radio network) workers’ union POSPERT to a Finance Minister’s order issued last Friday to all ERT employees to ‘abandon’ the occupied ERT building in Athens.

The finance minister’s order was issued as the tripartite Greek government collapsed.

But on direct orders from the troika of the EC-IMF-ECB, the current right-wing Prime Minister Samaras and the PASOK social democrat leader Venizelos were seeking to form another coalition government with their 153 parliamentary deputies, a majority of just three.

Last Thursday and Friday, the Athens stock exchange collapsed by over 10 per cent, along with the coalition government.

Since last January, the Athens Stock Exchange has lost nearly nine per cent of its total value.

Thousands of workers rally at the ERT building every day and night when concerts are given by top classical, traditional and rock ensembles.

Last Friday night, some 5.000 workers and youth attended the concerts which included short readings and performances by actors.

On Saturday night, about 3,000 workers rallied at ERT, took part in an afternoon discussion with journalists and then enjoyed a concert of classical and modern Greek music.

Sunday has been declared a ‘day of international solidarity’ with the ERT workers’ struggle.

During the bank holiday weekend, POSPERT called on ‘trade unions and social groups to be on guard to defend ERT following the government threats’.

There is no doubt that the collapsing Samaras parliamentary junta will use every means and force available to kick out workers from the ERT building.

He is now offering two months wages to any ERT employee who will abandon ERT and sign up for a new state TV channel named as NERIT which is being set up by the government with complete and utter disregard for lawful procedures as condemned by POSPERT.

The idea, of course, is to split ERT employees and force them to capitulate.

Now that trade union support to the ERT workers has become absolutely crucial, the GSEE (Greek TUC) leaders are refusing to mobilise workers, while the KKE (Greek Communist Party) have stopped mobilising support since last Monday.

In such a situation, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) are offering symbolic and ethical rather than political and practical support.

These anti-capitalists, who have criticised the GSEE’s treachery in words, are refusing to take up the fight to kick the traitors out of the labour and trade union movement.

In so doing, they are refusing to support the Greek workers’ rage to overthrow the government, since they, along with the KKE and SYRIZA and the left-centrists, hold that this is not a revolutionary period and conditions do not exist for workers to fight for victory.

This at the time of the total bankruptcy of the Greek economy and the collapse of a tripartite coalition government!

The government also announced last week that about 150 primary and nursery schools will be shut down immediately and 13 hospitals will close in July.

Hospitals have lost over 600 beds in capacity since January.