Greece: The Troika Demands the Dismantling of Greece’s Labor Law
StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 5 September 2012 broadcast.
By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart
– A ‘leaked’ e-mail sent to the Greek Ministers of Finance and Labor from the Troika’s representatives calls for several changes in labor regulations, including the extension of the work week from 5 to 6 days and demands to reduce compensation for dismissal by half!
The Troika’s new demands are expected to meet with massive resistance, further de-legitimizing the cobbled together government-of-the-regime, which many Greeks believe is already ‘dead.’
– On Wednesday, about 200 people, including senior judges, prosecutors and court workers, demonstrated in front of the Greek Supreme Court to oppose looming reductions in their salaries and pensions.
Organizers of the protest threatened to cut operating hours at the country’s severely backlogged courts if salaries are slashed as part of the government’s new austerity measures for 2013-14. Greece’s courts, which work notoriously short hours and have long vacation breaks, are backed up for 10 years or more in some cases.
Vassiliki Thanou-Christofilou, head of the Association of Judges and Public Prosecutors, told the AP:
“Of course it’s not common to see judges protesting but we were obliged to gather today to express our opposition to the planned new cuts. The cuts are likely to be 20 percent or more, on top of previous reductions worth 38 percent of our salaries. So the pay levels will no longer safeguard the court officials’ ability to live in a dignified way.”
From the Greek Reporter:
Most Greek civil servants have seen similar pay cuts. Police, Fire Service, and Coast Guard associations held a protest in central Athens on Thursday with officers in uniform. Earlier this week, pharmacists and doctors stopped extending credit to the state EOPPY health fund, which insures nearly 90 percent of Greeks, who have been forced to pay doctors and pharmacists in cash even though the workers have money withheld from their checks for health insurance.
– About 3000 Greek police, firefighters and coast guard officers organized a demonstration in central Athens on Thursday (link: HYPERLINK “http://www.nasdaq.com/article/greek-police-uniform-services-protest-paycuts-20120906-01280” http://www.nasdaq.com/article/greek-police-uniform-services-protest-paycuts-20120906-01280) to protest impending wage and pension cuts as part of the new round of austerity measures totaling 17€ billion, demanded by the Troika.
The police join a new wave of public-sector protests. State hospital doctors and judges organized strikes on Wednesday, while university professors and tax officials have protests planned for upcoming days.
Mass demonstrations of both public- and private-sector workers will take place in Thessaloniki on Saturday. The StopCartel TV crew will be there Livestreaming on location. The protests were planned to coincide with Greek Prime Minister Antonio Samaras’s visit to Thessaloniki this weekend.
– Athens News reports that in the second quarter, Greece’s GDP is down 6.3%. International organizations are predicting a decline of 7% this year, which will keep the country in a recession for the fifth consecutive year. The new austerity package will further deteriorate the economy, and consequently Greek society.
– Thousands of Greeks took to the streets at the annual International Fair in Thessaloniki on Saturday, to protest a new austerity package, which includes another round of wage and pension cuts.
About 15,000 people marched through the streets. A few protesters burned a European flag while another group threw watermelons and peaches onto the street in support of struggling farmers. Even though the protest was largely peaceful, 3,500 rioting police were dispatched to the streets.
Breaking with 75 years of tradition, Greek Prime Minister Antonios Samaras made only a brief appearance to inaugurate the event and to defend his anti-Greek policies. Samaras told politicians and local officials, “We are trying to minimize the pain from the cuts as much as possible but we have to make the cuts, because there is no other way. I am telling you the truth, there is no other way.”
SYRIZA opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, who participated in the rallies had this to say: “The Prime Minister came and left like a thief – perhaps he is ashamed.”
“In the beginning fascism is for the “others” and later for everyone ... ” – Anthony Verias
Neo Nazi Party, Golden Dawn smashing immigrant shops in Greece Sept. 7, 2012:
StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece on weeknights at 6pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr