On Friday, March 22, Effie Achtsioglou, Greek Minister of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity, is set to deliver a speech to the London School of Economics, on “A New Model for the Greek Labour Market”. The harsh reality is that the SYRIZA government has not introduced any new model through its labour market reforms. In fact, it has continued pursuing the same regressive agenda that has been implemented by its predecessors since 2010, when the first bailout for Greece was agreed. While this statement could be supported by evidence in many fields since the inevitable capitulation of SYRIZA, we will restrain ourselves to describing the most critical reforms on the labour market.
The fourth memorandum that was voted by SYRIZA in May 2017, loosened the regulations on employment protection, making it easier for employers to enact collective dismissals. Even the requirement of administrative control and approval of such dismissals from the Ministry of Labour was abolished, adopting the so-called “best practices” of EU. For years, strikes have been one of the most powerful ways of collective action of Greek trade unions. In January 2018, similar to practices of Cameron’s government in the UK, the SYRIZA government passed legislation raising the requirements of calling strikes, a condition that was set up by the EU commission, European central bank and the IMF, to limit the frequency of strikes. While the Greek PM claims to take the country out of the restrictions of the memoranda and endless austerity, at the same time it seems that they need to suppress the protests and strikes over the measures that they are committed to implement against the workers and unemployed people.
An issue that has recently emerged, is the announcement of an increase of the minimum gross wage by the Greek government, changing from €586 to €650. A government that was elected promising to raise the minimum wage to €751, presents this increase as an emblematic action, while the 500 most profitable Greek companies increased their profits by 25.8% in 2017, compared to 2016. The impact of this change on the lives of those who work under part-time or temporary contracts (more than 20% of them get paid with less than €300 per month) or in general the employees (more than 40% of them earn a salary less than €700), cannot be compared to the 20% average slump of Greek wages during the last 10 years of capitalism’s global crisis. Due to some reforms related to the memoranda, a side-effect of the minimum wage’s increase is that those who are self-employed will have to pay €20 more per month in the social security contributions, lowering the real increase of the gross wage from €64 to €44!
It is worthwhile to mention that what SYRIZA is trying to present as an “increase of the minimum wage”, is nothing but the implementation of a law that SYRIZA had fiercely opposed, voted from the previous ruling party of New Democracy, that established the blockage of collective bargaining. Thus, the minimum wage can no longer be a subject of negotiations between the trade unions and the employers. It can only be determined unilaterally by the government.
Another fact that must be interpreted, is the fall in the unemployment rate by 8% during the last 4 years. This has been a result of the dramatic increase of part-time and temporary contracts, from 5% to 9%, while 61% of the new contracts that were signed in the first 8 months of 2018 were part-time. This is also proved by the fact that 2.3 million dismissals and 2.4 million new contracts were signed in 2018, clearly showing the vicious circle between short-time jobs and unemployment.
ANTARSYA, the Anti-capitalist Left front in Greece, will take initiatives to build an anti-capitalist – anti-governmental – internationalist anti-EU front, to oppose the attack on workers’ rights, to fight back against austerity and the escalation of war threat, racism and fascism.
We fight for a better and more equal society without exploitation of human by human
The marginalisation policy of addicts brought the murder of the activist Zak Kostopoulos
Lynching to death by two or even more human-like monsters, activist Zak Kostopoulos, an active member of the LGBTqi community and the struggle against the stigmatization of HIV positive people, is a devastating and racist crime under the tolerance of the police, which took place on 21 September. A crime by those who think they can enforce the law of the jungle against the weak and the rebellious.
Whatever happened on that Friday afternoon, and while new information is constantly revealed, it is clear that the shop owner assumed that a drug addict had invaded his shop, while believing he could be assisted by others, to kick him up to death and be left unpunished. Then, police seems to be kicking the already injured Zak Kostopoulos, who died later in the day.
This cold murder is the consequence of targeting and suppressing drug addicts, immigrants and any weak or socially excluded citizen, who are defined by the state, local authorities and police as unwanted “trash” that spoils the tourist “glamor” of the centre of Athens. It is the consequence of the logic that the weak and the poor are not the priority for social care, but the object of revenge and humiliation.
The government and the Athens council have given the green light to racist police campaigns against drug addicts and immigrants in the centre of Athens to surrender it “clean” to the speculative activities of contractors, big merchants and hotel owners. They were followed by the media, as most of them interviewed the murderer of Zac by focusing on the “fear of the shopkeeper” instead of condemning the murder.
All of them lay the ground for the modern petit-bourgeois who portray as their enemy the weak of this society, thus boosting fascism.
The government’s responsibility for the stance of police can no longer be hidden. Its responsibility of the government regarding the medical treatment of drug addicts and HIV positive people is enormous. The memoranda and austerity policies have dismantled the care programs for these individuals leading them marginalised.
With Zak Kostopoulos we took part in struggles defending diversity, tolerance, the rights of LGBTQi people, for the protection of the oppressed and the socially excluded people.
We will fight to punish Zak’s murderers. To attribute the responsibilities to police officers who seem to have put handcuffs on Zak while injured and possibly to make the final blows.
We will fight to stop the cuts in public health spending, a policy imposed by the memoranda. We demand an immediate opening of all the closed structures for the addicts.
We will fight against the logic that targets the poor, the addicted, the LGBTqi, the HIV positive and the socially excluded people.
We will fight against fascism in every neighbourhood.
We will struggle to overthrow the memorandum policies that entail poverty, unemployment and impoverishment.
Greek wildfires: “Asymmetric Threat” for people and the environment is the capitalist development as shown by disastrous firesPosted: July 25, 2018
Greek wildfires: “Asymmetric Threat” for people and the environment is the capitalist development as shown by disastrous fires
Compensation of victims and protection of the affected areas from the interests of arsonists
The only “asymmetric threat” responsible for the devastating fires in East Attica, Corinthia and Fthiotida, Chania, Evros is the destructive development in favour of speculation of capitalization. Profits get over people and the natural environment.
Society was hit by the consequences of catastrophic fires with minimum help by the state apparatus, with the fire brigade disintegrated and underemployed while its staff are making heroic efforts, the forest service dissolved and the rough lack of preventive measures. Just a few months before, another area in Attica was hit by the devastating floods with dozens of dead people.
The country is second in military spending amongst NATO members, but it does not have the basic infrastructure to deal with the fires and floods caused by the construction contractor’s impunity. SYRIZA-ANEL government and the Attica regional authorities are hiding behind arguments of tedious weather. They followed the same tactics followed for decades by the previous governments of Nea Dimokratia and PASOK, which left untouched the arsonists’ interests to speculate on destruction. They set no burden for the speculation of the earth, the blockage of the natural water flows, the destruction of the coastline, all that led dozens of people not having an easy route of escape, with the known tragic consequences.
ANTARSYA expresses condolences to the victims’ relatives and its solidarity with those who have experienced tragic moments, having been damaged by the devastating fires. It calls for the mobilisation of the popular movement to support the region in an effort to overcome the disaster on the grounds of solidarity.
Immediate measures are needed:
- To compensate all the victims of the disaster, immediately and altogether, in order to protect themselves against the various interests which are targeting the area and their property.
- To prevent land use in burned areas, protecting the area from business and construction contractor’s interests.
- To reorganize fire protection. Mass recruitment for the fire brigade. Renewal of equipment, especially in vehicles. Reorganization of the Forest Service.
- Take immediate flood protection measures to prevent new victims from flooding in winter.
- Expenditures on fire protection and social needs, not for bloody public surpluses and the army – cancellation of the public debt!
It takes decisiveness and struggle to respond to the policy that removes resources from social needs, such as fire protection, in order to repay the public debt, fulfil the memoranda obligations, finance the bloody public surpluses, and fund army expenditures and NATO.
In solidarity with the UCU strike!
The ongoing strike in UK universities, which started on February 22, shows the accumulated anger of university workers against the increasing attacks of employers on labour relations. Even though this widespread attack is officially expressed by the employers’ leadership (UUK), is clearly supported and further deepened by the Conservative government.
Proposed changes aim to directly link pensions to the stock market without any guarantee leading to the loss of up to £10,000 a year from the retirement amount of each employee. Not surprisingly, the attempted restructuring of pensions led to a massive participation in the strike. However, most UCU members voted for the strike, to protest not only against the USS pension system reform, but also against the continuous privatization and financialization of higher education, the increasingly precarious and insecure labour relations in UK universities, manifested in the huge rise in fixed-term contracts and in the stagnation or cuts in wages, and the increasing psychological stress due to the constant requirement to increase productivity.
The 14 days of the strike, which are planned to take place within 4 weeks, open a path of possibilities for the struggle of university workers and for the labour movement. It is the largest-ever strike called in British higher education.
The early days of the strike proved not only the determination of the university workers but also the strength of student solidarity. From the beginning, employers attempted to use the consequences of the strike to the students for intimidating academics that would participate in the strike. The students’ response was their daily presence on the picket lines.
The strike has the potential to initiate a discussion for the content and orientation of the university movement, to strengthen self-confidence in organizing resistance against the marketization of education that tripled fees and cut grants for the poorest students and to contribute to overcoming contradictions within the union by reinforcing radical voices and paths. It can also show the necessity for a wider alliance of workers and students which would lead both to the open questioning of the neoliberal agenda of the Conservative government and the limits of the class compromise that still lies at the core of the Labour’s agenda, putting at the forefront the need for radical alternatives to the increasing attacks to public education in the UK.
For a strong and successful strike!
Αλληλεγγύη στους απεργούς του UCU
Η απεργία στα Αγγλικά πανεπιστήμια που ξεκίνησε στις 22 του Φλεβάρη, εκφράζει τη συσσωρευμένη αγανάκτηση των εργαζομένων ενάντια στις συνεχείς επιθέσεις που δέχονται από την εργοδοσία στο σύνολο των εργασιακών σχέσεων. Η πορεία αυτή στηρίζεται και ενισχύεται ξεκάθαρα από την κυβέρνηση και εκφράζεται επίσημα από την ηγεσία των εργοδοτών (UUK).
Οι πρόσφατες αλλαγές συνδέουν τις συντάξεις απόλυτα με τις αποδόσεις του χρηματιστηρίου χωρίς καμία εγγύηση. Ως αποτέλεσμα, πολλοί πανεπιστημιακοί θα αναγκαστούν να κατευθυνθούν προς τον ιδιωτικό ασφαλιστικό τομέα, ακολουθώντας το παράδειγμα των περισσότερων εργαζομένων στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο. Η απώλεια μέχρι και 10.000£ το χρόνο από το συνταξιοδοτικό ποσό του κάθε εργαζόμενου, λόγω της περικοπής των συνταξιοδοτικών επιδομάτων κατά 20% έως 40%, οδήγησε σε μαζική συμμετοχή στην απεργία και στις απεργιακές κινητοποιήσεις. Εκτιμούμε πως τα μέλη του UCU υπερψήφισαν την απεργία με ποσοστό 88%, όχι μόνο για τη διάλυση του συνταξιοδοτικού, αλλά σαν μία αντίδραση στην περαιτέρω εμπορευματοποίηση και ιδιωτικοποίηση της ανώτατης εκπαίδευσης, στη διαρκή εντατικοποίηση της εργασίας στα πανεπιστήμια, την συνεχή αύξηση των συμβάσεων ορισμένου χρόνου και την πραγματική μείωση των μισθών, αλλά και την διαρκή πίεση για μεγαλυτέρη ανταποδοτικότητα.
Οι 14 μέρες απεργίας που έχουν προκυρηχθεί σε βάθος 4 εβδομάδων ανοίγουν ένα δρόμο πολύμορφων μέσων πάλης και προοπτικής για το εργατικό κίνημα. Αποτελούν τη μεγαλύτερη και μακρύτερη απεργία που έχει ψηφιστεί ποτέ από τους πανεπιστημιακούς στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο.
Οι πρώτες μέρες της απεργίας έδειξαν όχι μόνο την αποφασιστικότητα των εργαζομένων αλλά και την δύναμη της φοιτητικής αλληλεγγύης. Από την αρχή η εργοδοσία επεδίωξε να χρησιμοποιήσει τις συνέπειες της απεργίας στους φοιτητές για να εκφοβίσει τους πανεπιστημιακούς που θα απεργούσαν. Η απάντηση των φοιτητών ήταν δυναμική συμπαράσταση με καθημερινή παρουσία στα picket lines.
Η απεργία ανοίγει δυναμικά τη συζήτηση για το περιεχόμενο και τον προσανατολισμό του κινήματος στα πανεπιστήμια, αποτελεί σημαντικό βήμα αυτοπεποίθησης στην οργάνωση της αντίστασης ενάντια στις αντεργατικές κυβερνητικές πολιτικές και μπορεί να συμβάλλει στο ξεπέρασμα των αντιφάσεων στο εσωτερικό του σωματείου με ενίσχυση της ριζοσπαστικής κατεύθυνσης. Μπορεί να συσπειρώσει ένα αγωνιστικό δυναμικό οδηγώντας τόσο στην αμφισβήτηση της ακραία νεοφιλελεύθερης διακυβέρνησης των Συντηρητικών (Conservatives) όσο και στην ανάδειξη των αντικειμενικών ορίων του ταξικού συμβιβασμού που προτείνει το κόμμα των Εργατικών (Labour Party), αναδεικνύοντας την αναγκαιότητα μιας ευρύτερης συμμαχίας των εργαζομένων και των φοιτητών ενάντια στη συνεχή εμπορευματοποίηση της εκπαίδευσης.
USA PRESIDENT OBAMA IS NOT WELCOME IN GREECE!
INTERNATIONALIST STRUGGLE OF PEOPLE FOR DEFENDING PEACE, SOCIAL AND DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS AGAINST WAR, IMPERIALIST INVASIONS, COMPETITION OF RULING CLASSES.
Obama’s visit to Athens on the 15th November, two days before the 43rd anniversary of the social revolt against the military dictatorship that the USA supported, is another provocation of Tsipras’ government.
Behind the image of the peace Nobel holder, the first black president in the USA, hides a ruthless leader of the strongest imperialist machine around the globe, which is responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands civilians, as a result of the invasions in Iraq and Syria and of many black young people murdered by the police within the USA.
Obama is visiting Greece, while the negotiations for the second review of Greece’s rescue plan is in progress, with the Greek government and the Troika to bargain new measures of stringent austerity. Obama has stated several times that he supports the implementation of structural reforms. The USA president, as a representative of global capitalism, applies pressure for faster and deeper wage cuts, market liberalisation and privatisations.
He is visiting Greece, while the war in Syria and Iraq is escalated in a unique sharpening of the imperialist competition, expressed from the Pacific Ocean to Ukraine, the Mediterranean Sea and Africa. The placement of Frontex and the NATO navy in the Mediterranean region, in the name of borders’ protection from the refugees and migrants, the victims of imperialist wars, is becoming the weapon of the USA for escalating imperialist competition and for controlling the specific area.
Obama’s goal is Greece’s deeper engagement with the war in Middle East and with the imperialist plans of the USA. In this direction, the political, economic and military deepening of the reactionary axis of Greece-Cyprus-Egypt-Israel constitutes a main issue.
Obama visits Greece in order to secure the USA dominance in the control of energy deposits in the Aegean Sea and in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and their transportation routes. These goals will escalate the competition amongst the ruling classes in the area, are related to the determination of the Exclusive Economic Zones in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and are in contrast to the interests of the Greek people. To the contrary, these goals serve the interests of the USA Transnational Corporations and the capital of the area.
The competition between Greece and Turkey, the emergence of reactionary axes (such as this of Greece-Cyprus-Egypt-Israel), the Turkish invasion in Syria and the continuous attacks on the Kurds and the involution in the imperialist plans do not benefit the people of the area. They sharpen the war risks for the interests of the local ruling classes and the Transnational monopolies which will enjoy the wealth.
Finally, Obama’s presence in Greece is related to the Cyprus dispute since the USA aim at developing a reactionary strategy based on the Anan plan with the contribution of the SYRIZA-ANEL government.
The Greek coalition government argues that Obama visits Greece in order to apply pressure for public debt restructuring. This is just a joke! We should not have illusions. The representative of American imperialism is coming to Greece to “demand” rather than to “offer”.
The solution of the people of the area is not placed with any “protector”. The solution is the common internationalist and anti-imperialist struggle of the people in all the countries of the area:
- to defend peace and to demand a stop in any participation in the imperialist decisions of the USA and the EU
- to block the escalation of war in the area
- to write off the public debts
- to dissolve the reactionary axis of Greece-Cyprus-Egypt-Israel
- against the racist agreement among the EU, Turkey and Greece
- for the free movement and a dignified life with all the social, democratic and working rights of refugees and migrants in all the destination countries and in Greece
- for the release from the NATO and the EU
We call all the people to participate in the demonstration in Greece
In Athens, Tuesday 15.11, 17.00, marching from the Polytechnic School to the USA Embassy
Justice for G.K. who was arrested for issues related to the compulsory military service in Greece.
Military judicature actually exists! It acts and produces results!
“Sworn Administrative Inquiries” might be the most effective way of covering up any offenses of the Hierarchy… The constantly repeated and multiplied complaints of hazing incidents against both soldiers and the students of Productive Schools might encounter the main characteristic of civil justice – that it is blind…
The investigations and judicial proceedings regarding fatal accidents might have never revealed the true culprits – the government policy which in the name of martial readiness and combat effectiveness systematically sacrifices staff, as it always murders the victims a second time by blaming them…
But as for military judicature and the military prosecutor…
They are in full readiness to virtually destroy any young person who gets entangled in the cogwheels of compulsory conscription. The offspring of the rich, famous athletes and artists and journalists of the regime might enjoy a multitude of privileges and facilitations… But not anyone who is truly in need, not anyone who for purely procedural reasons, which of course are beyond the control of simple citizens, finds himself on the boundary of law and order provisions!
This happened to G.K. who has been living in the UK for 11 years.
He came to Greece for a few days due to serious family reasons and for a job interview. While on his way back to the UK, at passport control it was found that he had exceeded the stay limit for people who have not fulfilled their military service and live abroad, by 3 days.
After checking the dates of his flights during the year (which is certainly not rock solid evidence as he may have left and come back to the country by other means of transport) it was suggested by the military prosecutor that he should be prohibited from leaving the country.
He was arrested and detained for several hours at the airport security building where he testified. Apart from the trial he now must face, a ban on him leaving the country was issued. All this even though he was just a pending appointment (with the Greek embassy in London) away from the right of an annual six-month stay in Greece. In just six months he will be 35 years old and can buy off the service.
Now he is stuck in Greece and will almost certainly lose his job in England where he has an underage son (with British citizenship).
The reply of the army to the above was “You should have been more careful; we can’t do anything”. Does anyone dispute the characterization of civil justice as blind, barbaric and class driven? Military justice has again exhibited extreme rigor and complete indifference: let you lose your job, let your child stay far from his father.
And to think that the vast majority in the military are war professionals who have never experienced the jungle of labour relations in the private sector but chose a military career for professional stability.
They decide for G.K. and every G.K. who compulsory conscription recruits as free labour and as a consumable for their military adventurism.
FREE SOLDIER NETWORK – SPARTACUS