In the News

Pensioners Protest against more pension cuts demanded by the ‘Troika’  Tuesday 4 April 2017


Watch the Euronews Video here

ETUC and ITUC: IMF attacks on Greek workers’ rights are unacceptable

The International and European Trade Union Confederations called on the International Monetary Fund to stop insisting that Greece undertake even more pension cuts and labour market deregulation before the Fund will agree to a new loan programme, or to signing off on disbursements by European institutions.  

An IMF spokesman stated last Thursday that the IMF is seeking “in particular, pension and labour reforms” as conditions for extending financial assistance to Greece. Greek workers have already suffered a severe reduction in their living standards. The austerity and deregulation measures demanded by the creditor institutions since 2010 have included reductions in minimum wages, pensions and the scope of collective bargaining.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said “Greek workers have borne almost all the costs of the crisis that began in 2008: wages have fallen, pensions have been slashed and a quarter of the workforce remains unemployed. The ILO issued a major study last year showing that collective bargaining coverage in Greece fell from 70 per cent before the crisis to 10 per cent in 2015.  Continuing to diminish workers’ collective rights will do nothing to put Greece on the path to economic recovery, but it will reinforce the alarming trend of growing inequality in the country.”

Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the ETUC, said that the latest attempt by the IMF to further diminish workers’ rights in Greece constitutes an attack on the European social model: “Workers and employers, 95% of which are microenterprises, need collective bargaining at sectoral level and do not need collective dismissals. The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has already sent a letter to Prime Minister Tsipras, clearly stating that collective bargaining and the right to strike are national matters, to be settled by social partners with government support, and that the Commission will not intervene on these matters in Greece. We want the IMF to show the same respect for Greek workers and companies, instead of imposing so-called ‘reforms’ which would further damage Greece’s economy and social cohesion.”

The OECD has published data showing that, after the deregulation that took place under a previous government, employment protection rules in Greece are already weaker than in the four Nordic countries, Germany, the Netherlands and several other EU countries.

The General Secretaries of the ITUC and ETUC expressed their solidarity with the Greek trade union confederation GSEE and urged the Greek government and its European counterparts to defend Greek workers’ rights against the IMF’s latest demands.

30.March 2017  ETUC



Rubber-glove Rebellion


The 14 month protest by cleaners, laid off from tax offices and the Greek Finance Ministry, which has captured the imagination of those opposed to the country’s harsh austerity programme was reported by Maria Margonis on the BBC 15. January 2015

Greece’s radical left could kill off austerity in the EU

If Syriza wins a possible snap poll in the new year, positive repercussions could be felt across Europe.

Owen Jones writing in The Guardian 22 December 2014

‘Another war looms in Europe: waged not with guns and tanks, but with financial markets and EU diktats. Austerity-ravaged Greece may well be on the verge of a general election that could bring to power a government unequivocally opposed to austerity. Momentous stuff: that has not happened in the six years of cuts and falling living standards that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

But if the radical leftist party Syriza does indeed triumph in a possible snap poll in the new year, there will undoubtedly be a concerted attempt to choke the experiment at birth. That matters not just for Greece, but for all of us who want a different sort of society and a break from years of austerity…. more


Government Crackdown on Golden Dawn Won’t Defeat Greek Fascism

Interview with Costas Lapavitsas on Reel News October 3rd 2013

The only way to defeat the Golden Dawn and Greek fascism is through popular mobilization that persuades Greek working people and the middle class that democracy and social change can create a just economy.

From Enet – English Language News from Greece Thursday 21 November 2013
The gap between rich and poor is getting bigger and the richer are getting richer as a result of the crisis, Manos Matsanganis, an associate professor at the Athens university of Economics and Business, told a conference in Athens on Tuesday.  42% of the population are now below the poverty line.
From the Guardian Monday 17 December 2012
Syriza says attack on MP was ‘brutal assassination attempt’
Dimitris Stratoulis, deputy of leftwing Greek party, set upon at football match in Athens on Sunday night.    Syriza MP Dimitris Stratoulis was attacked by three men while at the Olympic stadium in Athens on Sunday night.From the BBC 17 December 2012
Greek MP ‘attacked by far-right Golden Dawn’