HUNDREDS of hospital workers staged a rally outside the Greek Health Ministry in Athens last Thursday morning against the planned closure by the coalition government of about 12 hospitals in the capital during the summer.
The hospital workers’ federation POEDIN had called a half-day strike.
Hospital workers participated in the rally with their banners calling for action to keep hospitals open and fight against the government.
The POEDIN banner stated: ‘get rid of the law that allows the closure and merger of hospitals – recruit the necessary staff’.
Other hospital banners were much more forward. ‘No illusions, no self-deceptions – we must overthrow the government ourselves’, proclaimed the banner of the Voula hospital.
Speaking at the rally the President of POEDIN, Stavros Koutsioubelis, said that ‘there should be no illusions, the government intends to close down even the big central hospitals.’
Koutsioubelis said that POEDIN is considering ‘all means possible, including occupations’ to defend the public health service and keep hospitals open and operating.
He affirmed that he has been having talks with other federations on the need to organise an indefinite political general strike to overthrow the government and that POEDIN will be participating in an Athens demonstration today called by these federations.
About 15 trade union federations, which broke with the social-democrats of PASOK in the last two years, have formed an alliance which is now calling for an indefinite strike to overthrow the government.
This is a most important development in the trade union movement in Greece and directly reflects the working class’ rage against the troika-appointed coalition government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
It is clear that a United Front of all such trade unions would be a powerful movement to overthrow the government.
Because of the the current revolutionary struggles that have broken out in Greece a new generation of trade union leaders is developing, openly committed to overthrowing the government.