14N Day in Greece

In Greece, the 14N day was marked by demonstrations in Athens and Thessaloniki which were basically focused on sending a message of solidarity to the Spanish, Portuguese and Italians who are also struggling against the neoliberal attack.

Syntagma square, the trademark place of the struggle that Greek people has been giving since the Troika (EC, ECB and IMF) came to the country in May 2010, was filled by young activists of SYRIZA and other groups, waving huge flags of Greece, Portugal and Spain. On the other hand, the trade unions, although they had decided to participate, were almost absent from the demonstrations.

We must underline that a week before 14N, the Greek government, which is supported by the conservatives of New Democracy, the social democrats of PASOK and the Democratic Left (which was created in 2010, as a split from SYRIZA), has voted the new austerity package of 19 billion Euro. The trade unions decided to go on a two-day general strike on 6 and 7 November against the austerity measures. These days were marked by massive demonstrations all over Greece, and especially in Athens. On 7 November (the voting day) the roads of Athens were filled by thousands who were demonstrating outside the parliament under heavy rain and – the usual – police brutality.

SYRIZA was the main force that supported the strike and strongly opposed, both in and outside the parliament, the new austerity package. The most remarkable moment was, when the 72 MPs of SYRIZA left the building of the parliament during the discussion about the new package and joined the thousands of demonstrators in Syntagma square, holding a huge banner which was the main message to the Greek neoliberal government: “You are ruining the country – Go away now”.

Greece is currently facing the reality of a new recession of its economy for another year, the official unemployment rate lies at 26% (with youth unemployment amounting to 58%), new tax measures are going to further suppress the incomes of the people, collective bargains are dead by law and there are new cuts on the welfare state.

Apart from that, the rise of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn has created a new state of fear and terror against immigrants and activists. The anti-fascist movement is making some steps in order to face this danger, so there are plenty of assemblies in neighborhoods and demonstrations against the neo-Nazis.

After these developments, SYRIZA is now the biggest hope of the Greek working class, the youth, the poor and the unemployed. Alexis Tsipras, head of the coalition, has stated that there is no future for this government and its disastrous neoliberal policies, so there is an urgent need for the people to press the government to go into elections, as soon as possible. All recent polls show that on such an occasion SYRIZA will be topping the race.


Picture taken from Greek Left Review