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Unions: We are living under economic occupation

04 March 2010 / 23:03:00  GRReporter
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Over five thousand people gathered in the center of Athens in order to express their common discontent from the special economic measures of the socialistic government of PASOK. The protesting people had blocked the Panapistimiou street between the Syntagma square and Omonia square in the heart of the Greek capital. On a small tribune in front of the National library spoke union figures and party leaders from the left opposition. The megaphones at the square were echoing from the speeches of the passionate speakers who were talking about the economic occupation and financial despotism. “These are anti social measures which will exhaust the country and will turn Greece into an economic and social desert,” said the chairman of the parliamentary group of the radical left party Alekos Alavanos.

The protesting people where holding red flags with slogans calling for non reconciliation and revolution. Young and old people were waving red flags with fists high up and threats as well as the unforgettable symbol of hammer and sickle. “Do not touch the salaries, pensions and health insurances”, “Either them or us” (not being clear whom do they mean), “Say no! to the program for stability and development!” – these are just a part of the slogans written on the big canvases. Between the flags of the various left fractions in the protest there were also the red and black flags of the anarchists. The young boys and girls dressed in black were going around the crowd, smoking cigarettes and looking serious and were avoiding being captured by the cameras. The protesting were public sector employees, students, pensioners, common people who seemed like they had nothing better to do on a Thursday evening. “I came here because of the protest, I like the taste of revolution. Later we will go have a beer with friends,” said a boy from the crowd.

A young student was handing out flyers calling the citizens to unite in a common opposition front with a constant strike, until the government does not give up the additional package of restrictive economic measures. “The first step towards the rehabilitation of the economic stability of the country shouldn’t be nationalization of all the banks and big corporations. The wealth made on the account of the working class could be spread between the common people, employed in the production in Greece,” this said a 22 years old student in economics with passion and fire burning in her eyes on March 4th 2010.

While the Greek government fights to restore the trust of the European partners and financial markets in Greece, the Greek citizens are tenaciously refusing to accept the new changes imposed by the financial collapse of the internal system. The strikes will continue and on Friday, March 5th schools and hospitals will be closed. A 24 hours strike also announced all the transportation organizations. Greece will wake up without buses and trains and the airlines will cancel all the flights between 12:00 and 16:00 o’clock in the afternoon. In Athens will also not travel the subway, the city train, the trolley cars and the buses – the entire urban network will be blocked.

At the initiative of two of the largest working unions (The trade union of the public sector employees and the Common confederation of the Greek workers) the work will be discontinued at 12:00 o’clock in the afternoon on Friday. The Unions asked that at one o’clock in the afternoon all the citizens who do not agree with the new measures of the government to unite in a common protest in front of the Parliament. At the same time inside of the Parliament the bill “Protection of the national economy – additional measures for mastering the financial crisis” will be introduced for voting. It has to be enacted until March 15th when officially the VAT will increase by two points and will reach 21%. The increases of the excise duties on the fuels, cigarettes and alcohol was enacted immediately after the announcement of the new measures.

Tags: Economy crisis strike demonstrations
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