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Unions: "Greece is not Argentina - we will not surrender to the IMF"

13 May 2010 / 08:05:16  GRReporter
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Victoria Mindova

Not more than two or three thousand people supported the weekday protest of the Greek trade unions and the most active participants were members of the communist youth and other student organizations. Significant was the absence of the main leaders of the two most powerful unions - the state workers Union and the Federation of private guards who were the main organizers of the rally yesterday. According people familiar with the topic, after the last changes in the economic policy of the country the radical left believes that the main trade union leaders are tools in the political life of Greece and therefore enemies of the people. 

The rally started with a meeting of protesters in downtown Athens on Klavtmonos square. Police halted traffic on a main artery of the city Stadiou Boulevard. Protesters went to the parliament building on Syntagma Square. The procession passed by the burnt Marfin Bank, in which a tragic fire killed three people during the riots last week. Random citizens, but also participants in the protest stopped before the big wooden door of the bank, which was intact among the broken windows on both sides. Burnt remains of the former office peeked from inside and the withering flowers before them reminded that three people have been irretrievably lost in the ashes of chaotic anger. Poster with the face of Marfin Investment Group President Andreas Vgenopoulos was hanging on the door of the bank burned. He was presented as a CIA agent with a badge of the IMF, holding a Molotof cocktail in hand with an FBI tag - symbol of all the evil according to the strong opposition of the radical communists in Greece. 

The crowd was slowly moving on the central streets of the city and the most active in chanting slogans were young leaders of student organizations. The loose masses of angry Greeks came to Syntagma where they found the usual police cordons. They had blocked the upper part of Vassilis Sofiyas Boulevard and were ready to defend if needed. However, there was no need. People were holding protest posters, smoking cigarettes and occasionally chanting after someone called out a slogan. "There aren’t many people today. They are keeping their strength for Saturday, May 15, when the protests will be huge," said one participant in the rally, as we walked along the luxury hotel Grande Bretagne, which had its shutters down as a cupola, waiting for an attack. Among the protesters were mostly foreign television teams, which reflected the event and participants commented that the Greek media did not show any interest in this rally. 

"We are not Argentina and we will not put our heads down in front of the exorable murderous policies of the IMF and the EU," said a citizen during the protest. He said that resistance is just starting.

Tags: Greece economy crisis measures reforms strike
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