THE Greek coalition’s Finance Minister Evagelos Venizelos has said that the general election date agreed for February 19 by both the ex-Prime Minister Papandreou and Conservative leader Samaras, must be postponed.
He says that more time is needed to prepare and adopt the necessary austerity measures stemming form the EC-IMF Agreement on Greece of October 26.
The 2012 Greek Budget, revealed by Venizelos, states that one third of all civil service departments and public sector must be obliterated; this means that hundreds of thousands of workers would lose their jobs.
But Greek workers are fighting back against the savage austerity measures. Since last Sunday night workers of the DEH (State Electricity Board) have occupied the computer centre of the Board in protest against a government property tax that must be paid along with the electricity bills.
Throughout Greece workers have staged meetings and occupations of DEH offices and town halls demanding the scrapping of the tax. On Monday the government was forced to declare that for a period the electricity supply of those who have not paid the tax won’t be cut off. The leader of the power, mines and electricity union, Photopoulos, called on the government to scrap the law.
The workers of Greek Steel have now entered the fourth week of their solid strike against management’s plans of mass sackings, ‘flexible’ conditions, a five-hour working day paid by the hour, and the scrapping of workers’ rights.
They have been holding mass meetings at the gates of Greek Steel and last Monday they staged a powerful march through Athens city centre to the Vouli (Greek parliament).
The Greek Steel Workers’ Trade Union has castigated the leaders of both the Greek Metal Workers’ Federation and the leaders of the Elefsina Trades Council for calling just a three-hour stoppage this Wednesday in support of the strike.
At Monday’s march the president of the Greek Steel trade union Yiorghos Sifonios said that management want to impose a 500 euros monthly wage; the strike, he said, is most important because it is the testing ground. Its outcome, Sifonios stated, will affect all Greek industry.