Tuesday, April 27, 2010

As austerity package is announced Greek workers plan industrial action

Wherever you turn you can't miss the growing tide of anger about the economic situation here in Greece. On TV, radio talk shows, bus queues etc people are besides themselves with indignation about how the economic situation has come to such a pass. Today's news that there are going to be widespread cuts in public services has just added to the shock while others are worried about being paid wages owed or getting their pensions.

Already there have been protests and strike, some in the most unlikely of places. Yesterday Greek airforce pilots announced that they are working to rule a "white strike" as it is termed in Greek over plans to tax flight pay. In addition members of the PAME tade union blocked Pireaus port denying entrance to the 950 passengers of the Zenith cruise ship, forcing the tourists to stay overnight in Athens.

Strike actions have also been announced by many other unions and the number of industrial actions are set to rise exponentially as the details of the spending cuts become known. Tonight there are protest marches palnned for Athens (6.30pm Syntagma Square) and Thessaloniki 7pm (Statute of Venizelou, Aristotelous Square).

The one exception to all this doom and gloom are the state run TV channels which seem to be have transformed themselves in the official media wing of the ruling PASOK party with enough spin on the week's events to make the casual observer dizzy. Reports from journalist covering the unfolding crisis are virtually indistinguishable from official government accounts, complete with appropriate upbeat annotations and flourishes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't quite understand the point of preventing passengers from embarking on a cruise liner. One of the main industries in Greece is tourism and 2010 promises to be a particularly challenging year for tourism.

The result of this action is likely to be that Pullmantur removes Greece from their list of destinations - the mediterranean is large and there are plenty of other places where the Zenith's 1440 passengers (and their euros) will be welcome.

Am I missing something here? Any ideas what possible benefit this kind of action could have?