Greece: City Workers Clash With Police; Calls for a General Strike
StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 30 August 2012 broadcast.
By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart
– Clashes erupted in central Athens around lunchtime on Wednesday after rioting police tried to prevent a march that was organized by the personnel of the local municipalities of Attica. Municipal employees participating in the protest used their vehicles to block the police from obstructing the march.
Several demonstrators verbally attacked the rioting police and the conflict escalated when the rioting police retaliated by lobbing chemical weapons at the protesters. This made the situation even more explosive. A group of demonstrators tried to overturn a police vehicle during the melee that ensued.
Traffic in the center of Athens was paralyzed and the situation became chaotic. The rioting police arrested the municipal truck drivers and escorted them to the police station.
One demonstrator reminded reporters the reason for the protests. “Workers are unpaid and the municipalities cannot function anymore. We cannot provide the necessary services – services of social interest. The regime is firing people from jobs and cutting wages, making it impossible for us to support ourselves and our families.”
The municipalities remain closed today.
– PM meets with local administration representatives
On Wednesday, in a meeting with representatives of the Central Union of Municipalities (KEDE), Greek PM Antonis Samaras was briefed on the “dramatic” economic situation of Greece’s municipalities. KEDE representatives called for immediate assistance from the state to address the economic shortfall municipalities face.
Athens News Agency reports:
In a meeting which lasted more than two hours and held in the presence of Interior Minister Evripidis Stylianidis, KEDE president and Kallithea Mayor Costas Askounis underlined that the country’s mayors are up against an impasse, stressing that at least 40 municipalities will be unable to pay salaries in September.
Askounis said the mayors received no definitive answers from the government but expressed a hope that the interior minister will bring specific proposals to a KEDE conference that opens on Thursday.
Referring to a protest by sanitation workers in downtown Athens at the same time, Askounis said KEDE is against any extreme mobilization, stressing, however, that the situation in many municipalities is critical.
On his part, the Interior Minister said that the Prime Minister acknowledges the efforts made by the representatives of local administration and outlined three moves that could improve the situation.
Stylianidis said municipalities will receive 204 million euros from tax revenues by the end of the year and an additional 299 million euros from the state budget. He also announced a settlement for over-indebted municipalities, adding that 90 million euros in annual financial assistance will be shared by all municipalities.
– At a meeting of the Political Committee of the Southwest, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras declared that many of the cuts included in the package of 11.7€ billion are ‘difficult’ and ‘painful,’ but inevitable. Without them, he said, the country would return to square one and be forced to exit the euro. Samaras added that the new austerity package would be the last. The Greek people have heard this meme repeatedly and know better than to believe Samaras, a notorious liar and traitor.
– Neoliberalism in Practice: The details of the Troika’s conspiracy against Greek sovereignty were devised long ago. To disguise the fact that decisions regarding Greece have already been finalized by the Troika, the Greek government-of-the-regime delivers a daily performance in a pathetic effort to hide their demoted status.
A three-page list containing 11.7€ billion in new austerity measures is being circulated to members of the media-of-the-regime. An obedient TV ‘reporter’ tells viewers that the contents on the list are being ‘negotiated’ by the coalition of the three ruling parties.
The so-called ‘ruling coalition’ does not make decisions for Greece. They forfeited that power when they betrayed their country. They are the Troika’s clerks and are tasked with enforcing the edicts from the Troika.
Here is a partial list of cuts in the new austerity package:
– The public sector is on the chopping block with ‘proposed’ cuts of 1.2€ billion. This will result in a further massive loss of jobs, cuts in wages and pensions, and a 25% cut in the functional cost of public services across the board.
– Greek people can expect even more dramatic cuts to hospitals, medical services and pharmacies,
– Cuts of 135€ million euros for the military are expected.
– There will be a 25% increase on all public transportation tickets.
– In the education sector:
- Mergers are planned for universities and technical institutes.
- Educational fees will be imposed on students who do not complete their studies within four years.
- Universities and technical institutes will be subjected to additional cuts in personnel. For those who keep their jobs, working hours will be increased and wages decreased.
– According to data published by the Greek Department of Labor on Thursday, uninsured work climbed to 35.4% from 29.1% in 2011 during the period of January through July. The percentage of uninsured workers exceeds 50% in seven prefectures, a trend that is rapidly expanding throughout Greece.
– The General Confederation of Greek Workers, GSEE, is calling for a general strike as the details of dramatic new cuts are revealed. Here is their statement:
“Despite campaign pledges, the present government has evolved into a nerveless system, handing down the most egregious anti-labor measures. These neoliberal policies are causing intense agony and nightmarish conditions for workers. Workers now brace for a new austerity package of 11.7€ billion – an action that has all of the markings of ‘class war’ against workers.”
StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece on weeknights at 6pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr