Greece: Out-And-Out War Against Wage Earners

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 4 September 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

Photo: 401k / Flickr

– According to a recent report of a ‘leaked’ communication between Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras and the Minister of Labor Yiannis Vroutsi, the Greek government-of-the-regime, obediently following orders from the Troika, plans to abolish the 5-day work week in favor of a 6-day work week, on top of reduced wages and benefits. This brutal directive to dissolve all labor contracts and to remove any trace of labor law is an act of war against workers and decades of precedent.


– A group of about 200 Greek pensioners gathered outside the Ministry of Health in central Athens on Tuesday, to protest the continued breakdown of the social contract. Specifically, pensioners are concerned about further cuts in pensions and the ongoing crisis in health care that leaves insured patients liable for the full cost of prescription drugs, if they are available. Doctor visits must also be paid for in cash by pensioners struggling with ever increasing cuts to their pensions.

The situation escalated after the Minister of Health, Andreas Lykourentzos, declined to meet with representatives of the group, despite repeated requests. Angered and tired of being ignored, the pensioners broke through the building’s security and stormed into the lobby. One pensioner told a reporter on the scene, “This is ENOUGH! We cannot suffer more! This is an unbelievable situation.”

Several members of the group proceeded to climb the stairs and made their way to the door of the minister’s office, shouting demands for a meeting. The pensioners were rebuffed by the minister’s staff, who lied, saying the minister was not in his office. Unsatisfied, the pensioners opened the door to the minister’s office to find him there, after all.

The president of the pensioners explained the meeting, “We have received the most dirty and fascist personal attack from the minister of health. First he lied and said he wasn’t in his office. But we opened the door ourselves and found him there. We told him, Mr. Minister, you have been meeting with everyone, but refuse to meet with us. He responded by calling us bullies and liars! Shame on him!”

No resolution was achieved at the meeting. The pensioners are planning a demonstration in central Athens on Saturday at 11 a.m.


– The message to the Greek people is very simple: You are going to go through hell …

The Greek Communist party (KKE) made comments regarding Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras’s recent meeting with his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schaeuble:

“The message of the German and the Greek government is clear: for Greece to stay in the euro, you, your children and your grandchildren will live a life of hell, without any basic rights. One expresses the interests of the German capital, the other Greek, so they meet in a joint unpopular strategy and as allies in the EU.

The coalition parties and other parties willingly sacrifice the country to the euro. At the same time, they are hiding behind the lies that serve to convince people that it is in the best interests of Greece to stay in the Eurozone. The fate of the euro is not a matter of the sacrifices of the people, but of real development. The reality is one of acute contrasts. The coalition parties are acting in alliance with the wolves, driven by the deepening crisis.”


– 439,000 children in poverty!

According to a survey by UNICEF 439,000 Greek children are living below the poverty line.

Due to economic deprivation, hundreds of thousands of Greek children are exposed to communicable infectious diseases like diphtheria and meningitis. Health insurance is tied to employment in Greece, so unemployed parents are unable to pay cash to vaccinate their children.

Millions of families are locked out of the health care system due to massive unemployment, worsening the humanitarian catastrophe in Greece. A Third World has emerged within the heart of Europe.


– According to an article from the Guardian UK entitled “Greece’s Golden Dawn isn’t a political party – it’s more like a criminal gang”, Yiannis Baboulias offers scathing criticism, stating, “the thuggish members of the Golden Dawn, with their neo-Nazi ties and attacks on immigrants, should be banned from Parliament.”

The article quotes Golden Dawn leader Nikos Mihaloliakos:

“We feel disgusted in the parliament,” said their leader, Nikos Mihaloliakos, in a speech to his followers on 25 August. “If they want us to, we can abandon it at any given moment and take to the streets. There, they shall see what the Golden Dawn is really about, they will see what battle means, they will see what struggle means, they will see what bayonets sharpened every night mean.” Holding torches, they shouted “blood, honor, Golden Dawn” – a direct translation from the German “Blut und Ehre,” the motto once carried by the Nazi SA. “It’s you who are our Storm Detachments (Sturmabteilung). Let them come after you!” he continued, in his usual Nazi-inspired terms. Singing their official hymn “Raise the flags high” – again, a direct translation of the Nazi storm troopers’ hymn “Die Fahne hoch,” – young men and women call for open, violent conflict both with the state and with any opponents on the ground.

Baboulias asks:

“An organisation with explicit ties to neo-Nazism, advocating violence and attacking immigrants and anti-racist marches in the street: does this sound like a legitimate democratic party?”


– SYRIZA calls for mass participation and mobilization of labor unions and social movements on September 8.  A statement was issued by the network of unionists:

“The new austerity package calls for massive cuts of 11.7€ billion, which will eventually reach 22€ billion. The government’s package includes new and massive wage cuts, pension reductions, the continued dismantling of social and welfare benefits, abolition or merger of hundreds of public assets, as well as firings and layoffs in the public sector.”


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