Greece

What's the solution for Greece?

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In arguing against a Greek departure from the eurozone some on the left are mistakenly conflating the EU and workers' internationalism

The vilification of Greek resistance to austerity has been a recurrent feature of media coverage of the eurozone crisis. Sadly most of the leading left wing parties across Europe have also been unable to provide a convincing answer to these attacks. The general response of much of the European left has been to replace the right wing paradigm of the "lazy Greek versus the disciplined German" with another simplification: that of right wing nationalism against the eurozone versus left wing, pro-EU internationalism. They fear leaving the eurozone would be a concession to nationalism.

Greece: austerity and workers' resistance

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Mark L Thomas spoke to revolutionary socialist Nikos Loudos about the explosive resistance to austerity in Greece


Photo Jess Hurd/Report Digital

Greece is being shaken by repeated general strikes, militant strikes by sections of workers, workplace occupations, mass protests and occupations of city squares.

While the headlines have been dominated by the threat to the eurozone, the attempt to shift the burden of the biggest economic and financial crisis of post-war capitalism onto workers' shoulders has now provoked the highest level of struggle in Europe since the defeat of the Portuguese Revolution in 1975.

Greece and Ireland: A Tale of Two Crises

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Across Europe austerity is being imposed - but it is often met with resistance. Nikos Loudos draws lessons from the explosive struggles of Greek workers, while Marnie Holborow exposes the desperation of Ireland's ruling class, whose neoliberal economy has become Europe's weak link.


GREECE: CRUCIBLE OF RESISTANCE


Greek workers show the way

Eurozone crisis: new ideas of resistance as Greek fight grows

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The revolt against the IMF-EU austerity package in Greece escalated with two general strikes in May.

The strike on 5 May turned out to be the biggest ever, with estimates of the strike rally's size reaching over half a million. There were clashes with the police as they used tear gas against demonstrators trying to go up the steps in the parliament building. Three bank employees died in a blaze when a Marfin Bank building was set on fire.

Greece: the fightback against austerity

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Greece has been a focal point of crisis and resistance in Europe since exposure of its ballooning debt. Panos Garganos, editor of Socialist Worker's sister paper in Greece, spoke to Ian Taylor about the situation

Panos Garganos

What has been the response to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) going into Greece?

The delegation from the IMF, European Union (EU) and European Central Bank (ECB) arrived in Athens on 21 April, the anniversary of the colonels' coup in 1967. We suffered from the military then. We suffer from the bankers now. The fire service, hospitals, local authorities and teachers were on strike that day - that was the workers' response to the IMF, although the strikes were called earlier.

'No self-restraint' - Greek workers striking

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The working class in Greece is entering March in a very militant mood.

Two days of national industrial action in February and several sectors staging consecutive 48-hour strikes have created a strong momentum.

This has not been a self-evident development. Only last December the Greek TUC refused to call for any action against the government's austerity budget. The ascendance of Pasok (the Greek equivalent of Labour) to power in October after five years of Tory governance seemed to foster conditions for consent between the trade union bureaucracy and the new government.

Greece, Ireland and the eurozone crisis

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Pigs. It's not an insult as such, but that depends on what it's referring to.

In this case it's an acronym coined by "economic analysts" to describe the European countries that have been hardest hit by the recession: Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain.

Now, I happen to be Irish, but I'm not particularly nationally-minded, so on one level it doesn't bother me all that much. However, when you consider who these "economic analysts" are, and what their role has been in the crisis affecting Greece, it's a different story.

Greek expectations for the left

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It is not very often that governments decide to commit political suicide, but that is exactly what the ruling conservative party of New Democracy did when they called a snap election in Greece last month only to lose by a margin of 10 percent.

New Democracy was plunged into a massive crisis. Nineteen of their 23 original cabinet members were wiped out. Kostas Karamanlis, the leader and former prime minister, is retiring and the four contenders for his succession cannot agree on the way a new leader will be chosen.

Karamanlis called the election because, in his own words, the economy needed a package of "tough and unpopular measures" but the political climate did not permit it. What he meant by "political climate" was the fear of a new uprising like the one that shook Greece last December.

The betrayed generation

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Our societies are supersaturated with unrecognised anger that can suddenly crystallise around a single incident of police abuse or state repression. Yet although the seeds of revolt have been so flagrantly sown bourgeois society seldom recognises its own harvest.

In Los Angeles in 1992, for example, every teenager on the streets (or, for that matter, every cop on the beat) knew that Armageddon was coming. The widening faultlines between inner-city youth and city government should have been visible to even the most naive observer: there were weekly mass arrests, innumerable police shootings of unarmed kids, indiscriminate profiling of youth of colour as gangsters, outrageous double standards of justice, and so on.

Letter from Greece

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Anger at the government's neoliberal policies and police brutality has electrified Greece, reports Giorgos Pittas.

Millions of workers took part in the 10 December general strike. The whole country was paralysed as people demonstrated in Athens and other cities against the right wing New Democracy government, shouting, "Down with the murderers."

On 6 December police killed 15 year old Alex Grigoropoulos in cold blood as he played with his friends in the Exarcheia neighbourhood of Athens. The police claimed a ricocheted bullet killed the kid. But witnesses claim that it was murder.

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