Created: Thursday, 03 December 2015 11:20
Written by Michael MacGregor
The inevitable resistance to Syriza's sell-out has started. Across Greece, school students, pensioners, workers, the unemployed and migrants have responded. A general strike on 11 November, the first since Syriza's re-election in late September, saw hundreds of thousands march and protest. Since the beginning of November, ferry workers, transport staff and school and university students have all challenged a third round of austerity: cuts to workers’ rights, pensions, education budgets and privatisations.
Ironically, Syriza representatives have voiced support for the protests, prompting a resident of Athens to remark that: 'Syriza wants to take ownership of the protests but not the reforms.' The scale of austerity mean that more and more sectors of Greek society are mobilising themselves: small shopkeepers and businesses joined the general strike as they see their own livelihoods now directly undermined by the structural reform programme of the Troika of the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. The Troika has staff in Greece permanently to ensure programme compliance and has demanded that a specific number of preparatory actions take place before the end of this year. Deregulation of businesses and professions is underway as the multinationals slaver at the prospects of increased profits and ownership. From corner shops to local bakeries, to the international ports of Piraeus and Thessalonika - everything must go, according to the third bailout agreement. The Chairman of the Athens Chamber of Commerce, Kostas Michalos stated: 'We are likely to see thousands more small companies suspending operations and going under during the next six months’. In effect the Troika has now expanded to a foursome which directly includes the Syriza government. Syriza may bleat about the tough measures but it has signed up to fully implement them.
Read more ...