‘We will not be blackmailed’–Athens workers

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Sacked schools’ guards, part of the 10,000-strong workers’ protest outside the Greek parliament that defied the European Central Bank and shouted ‘We will not be blackmailed’
Sacked schools’ guards, part of the 10,000-strong workers’ protest outside the Greek parliament that defied the European Central Bank and shouted ‘We will not be blackmailed’

SOME 10,000 workers and their families gathered outside the Vouli (Greek parliament) last Thursday evening in Athens in protest against the European Central Bank’s (ECB) and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble’s hostility to Greece.

A call for the protest was issued on Thursday morning through social media, stating, ‘we will not be blackmailed – we will not be submitting – we will not be afraid – we will not be backtracking – we will be winning’, and ‘we should support the solid stand of our government against Draghi’s and Schaubles’ extortion’.

Last Wednesday night, ECB President Mario Draghi announced that from 11 February Greek State Bonds will not be accepted as collateral for loans, depriving the Greek banks of a vital source of cash. On Thursday morning, Schaeuble met the new Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis in Berlin and afterwards stated that ‘we agreed that we disagree’ to which Varoufakis replied ‘we didn’t even agree that’.

A delegation of sacked schools’ guards participated in the protest with their flags chanting slogans such as ‘People united against extortion!’ and ‘Tsipras raised his voice in Europe – now the troika is heading to take cover!’

The Trotskyists of the Revolutionary Marxist League (RML) distributed their leaflet calling on the Greek working class and youth to be mobilised against the EU-ECB’s extortion and threats and to demand the write-off of Greece’s public debt and the nationalisation of the banks.

The RML’s leaflet also called on workers to support the government against the EU but at the same time workers must demand that the government carry out their promises to kick out the troika and the austerity accords, to reinstate all sacked workers, to reopen the ERT state TV and radio corporation, to restore wages and pensions and to repeal anti-working class legislation.

The RML called on workers and youth to build strong Popular Assemblies (councils of action) in every area and a United Front of all workers to fight for withdrawal from the EU and NATO and for a socialist workers’ and small farmers’ government.