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National strike in Greece
#1
Public sector workers in Greece have launched a national strike, rallying in protest at government measures to tackle the country's huge deficit.
Flights have been grounded, many schools are closed and hospitals are operating an emergency-only service.
The government wants to freeze pay, gather more taxes and reform pensions.
EU leaders will discuss Greece's difficulties at a Brussels summit on Thursday amid concern the crisis could threaten the credibility of the euro.
European finance ministers are also due to hold a teleconference on Wednesday to talk about the issue.
Public anger
Despite heavy rain, there were rallies across Greece on Wednesday, with hundreds of striking workers and pensioners gathering in the centre of Athens ahead of a planned protest there.
The BBC's Malcolm Brabant reports from the capital that the rallies have been mainly peaceful, but in one incident police fired tear gas at rubbish collectors who tried to drive through a police cordon.
[Image: o.gif] [Image: start_quote_rb.gif] It's a war against workers and we will answer with war [Image: end_quote_rb.gif]


Union member Christos Katsiotis

[Image: inline_dashed_line.gif]

Flanders: Lessons for Europe?
Mason: Europe's crisis
UK press views on Greek crisis

Some demonstrators threw stones at the police but the trouble quickly died out.
The unions regard the austerity programme as a declaration of war against the working and middle classes, our correspondent says, and their resolve is strengthened by their belief that this crisis has been engineered by external forces, such as international speculators and European central bankers.
"It's a war against workers and we will answer with war, with constant struggles until this policy is overturned," said Christos Katsiotis, a union member affiliated to the Communist Party, at the Athens rally.
Others in the capital either see the cuts as necessary or argue that the strike is politically motivated.
[URL="http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?forumID=7493&edition=1&ttl=20100210112422"]
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"We have to implement the austerity measures, or the country will not be able to get out of this crisis," said Katerina, a private sector employee. "We have to pay for the mistakes of the past."
On Tuesday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's socialist government announced that it intends to raise the average retirement age from 61 to 63 by 2015 in a bid to save the cash-strapped pensions system.
The move comes on top of other planned austerity measures, including a public sector salary freeze and a hike in petrol prices announced last week.
Deficit and debt
Further government measures include the non-replacement of departing civil servants, and tax collectors recovering billions of euros lost to tax evasion.
Mr Papandreou has already faced down a three-week protest by farmers demanding higher government subsidies.
[Image: _47233421_papandreouap226b.jpg] George Papandreou has faced down public opposition so far

Public sector workers will not be hit as hard as they have been in the Irish Republic, but they complain that some of the lowest paid will suffer while the rich dodge tax with impunity, says BBC Europe correspondent Jonny Dymond.
Financial markets around the world and politicians from across Europe will be watching the situation carefully, he reports from Athens.
Greece's deficit is, at 12.7%, more than four times higher than eurozone rules allow. Its debt is about 300bn euros ($419bn; £259bn).
The markets remain sceptical that Greece will be able to pay its debts and many investors believe the country will have to be bailed out.
The uncertainty has recently buffeted the euro and the problems have extended to Spain and Portugal, which are also struggling with their deficits.
The possibility of Greece or one of the other stricken countries being unable to pay its debts - and either needing an EU bailout or having to abandon the euro - has been called the biggest threat yet to the single currency.
Ahead of Thursday's Brussels summit, some business media reported that Germany is preparing to lead a possible bail-out, supported by France and other eurozone members.
Mr Papandreou was in Paris on Wednesday for talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#2
[Image: thumb-z-gavras.png]
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Reply
#3
Good for the strikers. A general strike is one of the few weapons the people have against the corporate kings.

[Image: start_quote_rb.gif]It's a war against workers and we will answer with war.[Image: end_quote_rb.gif]

They understand. Hit 'em where it hurts--right in the profits.
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#4
Another stike in Greece. Great pictures here:
http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?l...id=1135971
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#5
Europe hit by wave of strikes

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/art...d=10628201
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Reply
#6
Ed Jewett Wrote:
[Image: thumb-z-gavras.png]

Just curious. What's this Ed?
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#7
From what I've read lately, quite a few others like Italy, Portugal and Spain might follow Greece. Will they accept austerity or choose revolution?
Reply
#8
Mark Stapleton Wrote:
Ed Jewett Wrote:
[Image: thumb-z-gavras.png]

Just curious. What's this Ed?


It is an iconic graphic that is descriptive of the movie "Z" by Costas-Gavras.

See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065234/

Here's a video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NPJ9sPbH18

The author of the book: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vassilis_Vassilikos

****

"In an unnamed Mediterranean country run by an ultra right-wing government, a liberal party leader is assassinated after giving a public speech. An investigation is launched to try to dispute claims of a police conspiracy, but the more the investigator looks into the case, the clearer it becomes that a cover-up is involved...

The film is based on the novel by Vassili Vassilikos and parallels the real life assassination in 1963 of Gregorios Lambrakis, a popular public figure known for his left-wing views. The significance of the letter Z is explained at the end of the film."

From a user comment: "... For hard-core political activists, these films are a must-see to make one fully aware to what extent those in questionable power will go, to manipulate the masses with covert deception, mass hysteria and mass hypnosis..."


http://filmsdefrance.com/FDF_Z_rev.html

See also

http://www.moviediva.com/MD_root/reviewpages/MDZ.htm

"The letter is shorthand for “He Lives” in ancient Greek, a graffito that was spray painted around Athens after Lambrakis’ murder."

***

"With the tacit acceptance of the U.S. and Western Europe, the world's cradle of democracy was harboring a totalitarian regime that regularly tortured and murdered dissidents and had banned everything from the Beatles and long hair, to Mark Twain, Dostoyevsky, and a certain letter of the alphabet. With “Z,” Costa-Gavris made sure the world knew that."

http://www.bullz-eye.com/mguide/reviews_1969/z.htm

***

See also
ZMAG
http://www.zmag.org
Z Magazine's web site: an independent political magazine of critical thinking on political, cultural, social, and economic life in the United States and around the globe.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Reply
#9
If you haven't seen the movie Mark make sure you do. I think it was recently re-issued in digital. Paul Rigby posted about it somewhere. It is a must see. A classic.

It is also the 'Z' which is used over at Zmag/Znet:
http://www.zcommunications.org/znet
Inspired by the Costas Gavras movie and Vassilikos' book.

Edit: Sorry Ed I see you already mentioned Zmag
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#10
Very interesting Ed and Maggie, and thanks.

Didn't know about all that.
Reply


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