There are two things that remained quite constant since the onset of the ‘euro-zone crisis’ and the ‘Greek tragedy’ starting in 2010. One is the ever harder pressure from Greece’s creditors (EU-Institutions, IMF) for austerity and neo-liberal ‘structural reforms’. The other is the opposition to those demands by various social movements, and in particular the social-democratic official trade unions (GSEE and their affiliates) and the more radical ‘communist’ cross-sectored PAME trade unionist movement in Greece.
They mobilised against those Troika diktats regardless whether Social Democrats (PASOK), Conservatives (Nea Dimokratia) or the ‘radical left’ SYRIZA headed the respective Greek governments, all of them executing austerity policies imposed on the Greek people by the creditors and accepting that the country thus was reduced to a semi-colonial status.
The latter forces again organised general strikes and protests of hundreds of thousands against the latest ‘reform package’ of the current Tsipras SYRIZA-led government. Despite the recent wave of protests, new austerity measures were adopted by the Greek Parliament on 18 May 2017 in an effort to secure the release of a €7.5 billion bailout tranche from the creditors within the framework of the 2nd review of the 3rd Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), accepted by Tsipras in 2015. Athens wants those credits to repay debt maturing in July 2017. Further ‘reviews’ (implicating new demands by the creditors, if in their view Greece did not sufficiently reach the agreed targets) are to be expected possibly up to 2021. [Read more…]