Greece lives today a 24hr general strike, as well as the strike rallies and demonstrations of the All-worker’s Militant Front (PAME) in dozens of cities, against the measures which the coalition government of the “Left” party of SYRIZA and the nationalist party of ANEL is bringing for discussion on that day in Parliament. Protest demonstrations will be organized by PAME all over the country on 18th of May, the day the measures will be voted on.
The SYRIZA-ANEL government is bringing these measures after the negotiations with the imperialist unions of the EU and IMF for the 2nd evaluation of the 3rd Memorandum. It is clear from the results that the government negotiated with the lenders on behalf of the interests of the domestic monopoly groups and not the people, with the aim of accelerating the process of an exit from the capitalist crisis that favours capital.
The new raft of anti-people measures further escalates the assault, thrusts new burdens onto the already struggling popular households, at the same time when better conditions are being formed for the activity of the business groups (such as the new measures to liberalize the market and accelerate privatizations).
In brief, the measures provide for:
- New reductions in pensions, with the result that the pensioners will lose a sum equivalent to two months’ pensions a year
- Increase of direct taxation even for those who have a low income, through the reduction of the tax threshold. So, for example, a salaried employee who earns 615 euros a month and who does not pay any direct taxes today, will be called onto to pay up to 300 euros of tax a year, i.e. almost half a month’s salary.
- New reductions in public funds for healthcare spending.
- New cuts to various benefits (unemployment, heating).
- There are other measures to support capital in the new agreement, such as the increase of privatizations, the complete liberalization of mass dismissals for big capitalist businesses, the legislation of new obstacles to the calling of strikes, the consolidation of all the anti-workers laws on collective labour agreements passed since 2011, the creation of new obstacles for the signing of collective labour agreements, the legalization of “lock outs” organized by the employers, the abolition of the Sunday holiday with painful consequences for retail workers and small shopkeepers, with aim of accelerating the concentration of the retail sector into department stores and supermarket chains etc.
These new measures will have a cumulative impact in a period when the situation of most employees and self-employed has already deteriorated dramatically due to the policies both of the previous ND-PASOK governments and the current SYRIZA-ANEL government.
In 2016, 45% of the population had an income under the fixed poverty line.
The KKE calls on the people to protest against the new agreement in a combative way, on the basis of their needs, which are constantly being sacrificed at the altar of the recovery of the profits of the monopolies. It calls on the people, beginning with the strike of the 17thof May to organize their counterattack decisively, to demand the immediate recovery of the great losses they suffered during the period of the crisis, against the new offensive of the ruling class, EU, IMF, which is being unleashed by the SYRIZA-ANEL government.
The workers with their mass participation in the strike of the 17th of May, in the other mobilizations, with their organization in the workplaces, must declare that: “We will not become the slaves of the 21st century.”
Source: KKE / RedGlobe