Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Greece goes on strike

Teachers' union members on strike in Greece

Yesterday the Greek parliament wAS in the process of debating a raft of new labour laws that would radically change the pay and conditions of  most employees and is likely to trigger a fall in wages that will further depress living standards of most Greeks, perhaps pushing them back to levels not seen since the 80's. I do not know the outcome of the vote nor do I particularly care as the result is a forgone conclusion and in the final analysis the decision is not in the hands of elected officials in Athens but rather those of  technocrats in the IMF, European Commission and the European Central Bank. What the ruling PASOK government cares to call the outcome of the vote is merely window dressing and should not be confused with anything resembling democratic process.

However, away from the parliamentary puppet theatre the country today is set to come to a standstill as trade unions in the public and private sector have declared a general strike for today. Trains, buses, planes are  not running and much of Greece's infrastructure has shut down for the durqtion. Across the country people are gathering to take part in protest marches and demonstrations as I write this, angry and disappointed by their rulers.

I will be on the streets trying to take photographs and video of today's events and will be providing updates whenever I have internet access and time. To follow the events on Twitter use the #imfgr hastag. Most of it will be in Greek, of course but Google Translate does a good job of rendering Greek into English and other languages. Alternatively, you could use the following Greek words in your search engines and then translate.





1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a difference to countries like Australia. When student fees are raised in Greece, Ireland or another European country all the students go, "What? They're putting up student fees? We have to go out and protest!" When student fees are raised in Australia, America or another New World country all the students go on as if nothing has happened. Because of course, they don't know, nor would they care.