The financial crisis in Greece is deepening. At the same time, workers’ struggles are continuing against the austerity policies that the government is imposing.
Signs of deepening crisis are not hard to find. Today, the Greek government asked for financial support. Such aid has been made possible by an IMF/EU program. Greece “had hoped that just the promise of EU support, agreed last months, would have been enough to reassure markets andhelp its recovery.” That hope proved an illusion.
The trigger for this decision was more financial trouble for the Greek state. Yesterday, a “worse-than-expected budget deficit of 13.6 percent” was made public. “The moment has come”, thus spoke prime minister Papandreou, announcing his decision to ask for financial aid.
This means that the financial disaster is far from over. It also means that the austerity policies imposed on the population of the country, are not sufficient to restore the confidence of financial insitutions on the international market in the Greek state and its policies.In fact, they are saying: we want more austerity! In the meantime,there is already far more austerity than the workers in Greece are willing and able to stand passively. This means that the clash between what capital demands and what workers are prepared to take is only deepening.
This same week, the resistance of workers against these policies has again become clear. T Yeterday, Thursday , April 22, there was a public sector strike. “Doctors, nurses, teachers, tax officials and dockers stopped work, paralyzing public services, while thousands are expcte to march to parliament at midday as European and IMF officials meet.” A civil servant, quoted by Reuters, explains: “We won’t tolerate any more measures because we cannot make ends meet. I have a mortgage, two children. I have cut down on every luxury. Why don’t they catch those who stle the money? Is my salary or my mother’s pension of 300 Euros going to save the country?”
Taxikipali, reporting on Libcom.org, has more on this strike and on strikes that had been announced for the week that is now ending: by taxi drivers, amongst others. Taxikipali writes that “another strike wave is on the rise in greece.” I can only hope this wave will grow higher and will wash the government and its policies away. In the meantime, taxikipali’s reports are, and will likely remain, an important source of information and inspiration from Greece in the tense days and weeks to come.