Public sector strike paralyzes Greece

Strikers face off with riot police

The 24h public sector general strike supplemented by private sector strikes has brought Greece to a standstill with no airplanes flying in or out the country.

It is the first big strike in Greece since the announcement of the austerity measures by the socialist government last week. And it has managed to bring the country to a standstill: the 24h strike of the public sector under the union umbrella of ADEDY has seen a complete freeze in the following fronts - all civil servants, including tax offices, social security, municipal and county workers; all doctors and nurses (except emergency personnel); all teachers at all school grades and all university teaching staff and personnel; all archeological sites (Acropolis shut); all air traffic control (no flights in or out of the country). Also in the means of mass transport, rolling stoppages of work are being performed in the National Railway System, and the suburban railway system of Athens.

The public sector strike has been further supplemented by strikes in the private sector. PAME the Communist Party umbrella union has called a 24h strike affecting large sections of the private sector, while at the same time several Autonomous unions have call a strike further hampering the private sector. The latter include: the books and printed material workers of Athens and the workers of Wind Telecom. The PAME strike is affecting a big range of private business that cannot be accurately reproduced here but include: Carrefur-Dia workers, elevator maintenance workers and construction builders. It is worth noting that all hydrofoil transport from Peiraeus and Igoumenitsa to the islands has frozen due to the strike.

At the time of writing different demos and strike related protest marches are unfolding in various cities of the country. In Athens, tension built up between protesters and the riot police forces (MAT) when the former tried to break trough police lines with the help of a garbage collecting vehicle (see picture, above).

Lat Monday, in relation to the austerity measures, anarchists broke in the central conference of the industrialists association of north greece on whose panel sat the Minister of National Economy. The protesters held banners against the sold out union bosses and soiled the conference with the help of "rotten-potato bombs" and other foul smelling devices, disrupting its procedures.

Reactions to the austerity measures are expected to augment after the announcement of the new tax scheme and in expectation of the social security reforms, a front that has in the past caused mass and massively dynamic protests in the country.

Posted By

taxikipali
Feb 10 2010 09:47

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taxikipali
Feb 10 2010 18:12

Update: ADEDY has announced its participation in the 24h strike of the private sector called by GSEE for the 24th of February. Meanwhile taxi drivers have called a 24h strike for tomorrow protesting against the austerity measures. The austerity measure's class character has been revealed beyond reparation today when after meeting with President Sarkozy, the Greek PM announced that Greece is buying 6 warship costing a total of 2,5 billion euros from France...The outrageous deal comes as more and more government spending outrages are made public: it has been revealed today that the Foresty Department has spent 1,6 million euros to construct...its website.

AIW
Feb 10 2010 23:43

Paul Mason's report on this on tonights Newsnight was good.
Capitalism requires the state to protect it and if it is not bailed out disapears like a game of monopoly.

taxikipali
Feb 11 2010 16:06

Update: The taxi drivers have announced another national 24h strike for the 19th of February. The bail-out agreement in Brussels has done nothing to relieve fears of the greek workers who seem even more suspicious of what might follow. The government has come under intense criticism over its arms deal with France, while bourgeois media do not talk of a "bail-out" but simply of "help from Europe" in an effort to appease the population. Meanwhile in Athens policemen of the Z-team (motorised force) have come under attack in what the media claim was an ambush. The cops were piled with rocks and marbles and one of them is hospitalised in a serious condition.

taxikipali
Feb 11 2010 18:47

Update3: The national union of teachers has announced its participation in the strike of the 24th of February, making the latter look like it is approaching the volume of a general strike. Also kiosks and corner shops have warned of rolling 24h strikes that would create great daily problems for consumers, demanding a reversal on extra tax imposed on tobacco as part of the austerity measures. At the same time, only hours after the bail-out, the greek government has been embarrassed by a long banner unfolded in front of the parliament by senior left-wing figures. The banner wrote: "No to the Stability Pact, European Workers Unite in Solidarity and Subversion"; the group was led by the highly influential ex-President of the Coalition of Radical Left, Mr Alavanos, who called Greece "the shit-hole of the Stability Pact".

taxikipali
Feb 12 2010 19:36

Update4: Today despite sustained bourgeois media efforts to hide the failure of the talks in Brussels and Germany's veto on any direct economic help towards the greek state, the PM vented his anger against EU power-holders who "have transformed greece into a guinea-pig". Despite continuing pleas for "national unity", today middle-education teachers followed their primary-education colleagues in calling a strike for the 24th of February. More worrying for the capitalists, customs officers have announced a 3-day long strike for next week which will see a complete freeze on all exports and imports. At the same time a 4-day strike for next week has been announced by employees of the Ministry of Economics, and of the Central Chemistry Lab of the State, the State's Accounting Service, the State Loans Office, the National Statistic Service and the State Legal Council. The strike is expected to paralise all state-economic functions.

Steven.
Feb 12 2010 19:49

thanks for the story and updates.

Discussion taking place about the Greek bailout here:
http://libcom.org/forums/news/greece-itself-nothing-09022010