Communiqué of the Communist Organization of Greece on the new anti-people measures adopted by the Greek government [*] - March 3, 2010

After the prime minister delivered, yesterday, a hypocritical and cheap speech about “our fatherland” which is at war with “bad guys” who steal the public wealth (!), today he ordered the government’s spokesman to proceed to the most nightmarish statements ever heard by the working people.

The Papandreou government sinks the country. They confiscate the salaries and pensions. They steal our income through exorbitant taxation. At the same time, they don’t take even 1 euro more than before by the rich. They don’t cut back even 1 euro on the military expenses and armament orders. They don’t ask even 1 euro more from the banks, the biggest robbers of the people. The Papandreou government succeeded, in a very short time, to become even more antipopular than the much hated right-wing governments of Mitsotakis and Karamanlis.

Never before, during the whole post-war era, so much lies were told in such a short time span. The Papandreou government, after giving up the power to the money-markets and to Brussels, now behaves as Berlin’s Gauleiter. The government had the possibility to borrow money with lower interests; to tax the big capital; to exact support from Brussels; to defend the already exhausted and impoverished society. Instead, the Papandreou government chose to be applauded by the Financial Times, Goldman Sachs, Frau Merkel and Mister Baroso. And, as today’s statement by Merkel shows, the liquidation of the Greek people will take place without any financial compensation by the EU.

The working people, the laboring society, are driven aback many decades with today’s governmental decisions, which are enthusiastically supported by the big capital, their Media, and the right-wing and extreme right-wing “opposition”. One century’s conquests of the working people, achieved thanks to courageous struggles and huge sacrifices, are now suspended.

The abolition of the people’s rights is not temporary, as initially claimed, but permanent: this is now openly admitted. And of course the government’s decisions do not concern only the public sector, as they claim; these measures pave the way for the same robbery of the private sector’s workers and employees. On top of that, the income losses provoked by the VAT increase, the fuel and basic goods price hikes, etc., concern the whole society.

It is impossible not to react strongly in front of this nightmare. We must sound general alert everywhere; in big and small cities, in every working place, in each neighborhood. We live historic moments: the size, the expansion and the strength of the resistance will show whether there is a hope, or this puppet government will sink us all even deeper.

At this moment, the biggest and broadest possible regrouping of forces is necessary. We must all take to the streets. Not a single social space can afford the luxury to remain outside the river of social indignation and protest.

At this moment, the broadest possible common action of the whole Left is demanded. Any division, any continuation of petty-politics and of the “civil war” within the Left becomes the greatest betrayal on our people’s interests.

At this moment, even the central trade union confederations’ leaderships have to think at least their personal reputation, and to get rid of their disastrous consensus with this government; otherwise, they will not be able to appear in public.

At this moment, what is most needed is the unity of the whole working people. The measures adopted by the Papandreou government are the great revenge of the plutocracy, of the markets against the whole working people.

The Papandreou government has declared war on our people – but the outcome of the struggle has not been determined yet, and there come much more than one battle!

They attack one century’s conquests – We take the path of struggle

General alert! Everybody to the streets!

Communist Organization of Greece (KOE)

*****

[*] First group of measures announced by the government today:

- Christmas salary, Easter allowance, summer holidays’ allowance: 30% cut off

- Salaries of employees in municipalities etc.: 7% cut off

- Public sector’s employees’ allowances: 12% cut off (average decrease of salaries in the public sector: 8-10% / in some cases, decrease up to 30%)

- Freezing of all the pensions, in both public and private sector (and 7-10% cut off in the pensions of Electricity and Telecom pensioners)

- VAT increased to 21% (it was 19%)

- Fuel tax increased by 15%

- Electricity rate increased by 8% for both private and industrial use

- Freezing of any new employment in the public sector

- 600 million euro cut off in the public investment program and the education budget