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Recent Protests in Greece II

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Joined: Dec 13 2009
Days of Strike

video (press cc for subtittles)

Here’s a short doc I produced with my colleague Giannis Vakrinos about the workers’ strike at Halyvourgia Ellados steel industry. The story goes like this.

In mid-October, the owner of the company called the workers to sign an alteration in their contracts. Due to the financial crisis and the company’s losses, he asked them to reduce what in the rest of the world is common sense. They wouldn’t work 8 hrs per day and for 5 days a week anymore. The new working hours plan was 5hrs per day, 5 days a week and a 40% cut in their salaries which would mean that they’d earn around 500 euros.

As you can also see in the doc, there is a widespread belief that if the company’s proposals are passed in this factory, they’ll then spread all around the heavy industry with consequences even in the retail sector. The immense solidarity that you can see is owed to this fact. Workers of nearby factories and people from all around Greece are sending food and money to the strikers who have managed to last for more almost 2,5 months.

Joined: Apr 29 2004

epaulo13 wrote:

Greek Strategy


Michael Hudson on the Greek experiment.

If the EU is merely a mechanism for war of the rich against the poor, a
number of countries are going to say NO to Europe, just as the Icelanders
have voted not to join Europe, just as other countries that had planned to
join Europe, all the way to Turkey at the other end, are saying, wait a
minute, if that's the Europe that's coming, an oligarchic Europe whose
program is austerity and shrinkage, why on earth would we want to join?

The EU is proving that it works for private banks, but not for its citizens.


The banksters are trying to do with capital what used to require foreign armies to invade and plunder countries. 

Joined: Apr 29 2004

NDPP wrote:

How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street

"The Houses of Morgan, Goldman and the other Big Five are justifiably worried right now, because an 'event of default' declared on European Sovereign debt could jeopardize their $32 Trillion derivatives scheme..."It is the "contagion," however, that seems to be the concern. Players who have hedged their bets by betting both ways cannot collect on their winning bets; and that means they cannot afford to pay their losing bets, causing other players to also default on their bets. The dominos go down in a cascade of cross-defaults that infects the whole banking industry and jeopardizes the global pyramid scheme. The potential for this sort of nuclear reaction was what prompted billionaire investor Warren Buffett to call derivatives "weapons of financial mass destruction." It is also why the banking system cannot let a major derivatives player-such as Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers-go down. What is in jeopardy is the derivatives scheme itself. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal on January 20th:

Hanging in the balance is the reputation of CDS as an instrument for hedgers and speculators-a $32.4 trillion market as of June last year; the value that may be assigned to sovereign debt, and $2.9 trillion of sovereign CDS, if the protection isn't seen as reliable in eliciting payouts; as well as the impact a messy Greek default could have on the global banking system.


Global pyramid scheme?

Pulpit rock

Joined: Apr 17 2001

Choose Your Own Misadventure


Find your own way out of the Greek crisis. No, there aren't really any happy endings.



Joined: Apr 17 2001

This will probably leave many Greeks somewhat annoyed. Salary cuts in the public sector are being made retroactive to November, the result being that in addition to the salary cut they're taking already they are going to have to pay the government back for the "extra" amount they received for the last four months. Simply insane.

Joined: Dec 28 2008

The Truth About Greece: An Open Letter to Public Opinion  -  by Mikis Theodorakis

"Composer and resistance icon Mikis Theodorakis lambastes the joint strategy devised by Greek politicians and financial institutions with the objective of pillaging the country. He explains how Greece was gradually put under IMF tutelage by Dominique Strauss Khan and former Prime Minister Papandreou

While the Western media point the finger at Syria, Russia and China, a financial government has taken over the reins of power in Greece and in Europe.."

Goldman Sachs Cooked Greek Books (and vid)

Joined: Dec 13 2009
Report from the battlefield + Video


What happened yesterday words cannot describe…
The brutality of police repression units cannot be put into words.
In these few lines I will do my best to narrate what I witnessed first hand, along with at least 500.000 of my co-citizens.

Early afternoon around 18:00. Ermou St is the most famous pedestrian shopping road, leading to Syntagma square, where the Greek Parliament is located. Thousands of people, many holding their children, marching down the street to protest against this unconstitutional Government’s ill will.
The road was packed and everything seemed strangely peaceful, although in the background few sporadic explosions of tear gases were heard from the far end of the square which led some of the early protesters to withdraw momentarily.
I thought this was a good thing, we could keep our forces recycling to keep the pressure on.
I thought wrong....

Joined: Dec 13 2009
Some news from Kilkis occupation by Leta Zotaki, ENIK

Thank you so much for your interest and support.
The occupation of our hospital in Kilkis by its workers started on Monday, February 20th, 8:30 local time.
This occupation is not only about us, the physicians and the workers at the Kilkis Hospital. Neither is it only about the Greek National Health System, which is collapsing, indeed. We are in this fight because what is in real danger now is the human rights. And this threat is not against just a nation, or against a few countries, or a few social groups, but against the low and middle classes in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, in the whole world. Today’s Greece, is tomorrow’s picture of Portugal, Spain, Italy and the rest of the countries worldwide.

The workers at the Kilkis Hospital and at most of the hospitals and health centers in Greece are not paid on time and some of them see their salaries being cut down to practically zero. A fellow-worker of mine was transferred to our cardiologic clinic in shock, when he realized that instead of receiving the usual check of 800 euros (yes, that is his monthly salary) from the state, he received a note saying that not only he will be paid nothing for this month, but he is also to return 170 euros! Other workers were paid only 9 (nine) euros for this month! Those of us who still receive some kind of a salary will support them in any way we can....

Joined: Dec 13 2009

meanwhile back at the ranch...

European Banks Get Big Injection of Cash in Bid to Ease Crisis

FRANKFURT — In a closely watched display of its firepower, the European Central Bank on Wednesday allocated to euro zone banks another huge round of the cheap, three-year loans that have helped avert a banking crisis but have not yet revived lending to business and households.

Banks asked to borrow €529.5 billion, or $713 billion, compared to €489 billion in December’s offer of three-year loans. The E.C.B. said that 800 banks put in for loans, compared to 523 in December, as many smaller lenders took advantage of the central bank’s broader collateral rules. The E.C.B. wanted to encourage borrowing by community banks that are likely to lend the money in turn to businesses and consumers.

Banks could borrow as much as they wanted at the benchmark interest rate of 1 percent, but had to pledge collateral — typically bonds or other securities that can be bought and sold. Previously, the E.C.B. lent to banks for a maximum of about a year. The E.C.B. disclosed the amount that banks requested on Wednesday and will disburse the money on Thursday.

Between the loan offers in December and this week, the E.C.B. will have lent banks a total of about €1 trillion. But the actual amount of new money flowing to banks is closer to €520 billion, because many banks shifted money from shorter-term E.C.B. loans into the three-year loans.

The loans appeared to have headed off a funding crunch that could have caused some banks to fail and many others to run short of money to lend into the euro zone economy. The E.C.B. loans also have helped lower borrowing costs for countries like Spain and Italy, as many banks borrowed from the E.C.B. at 1 percent interest and bought government bonds paying more than 5 percent. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Italian government bond fell to below 5.2 percent Wednesday from 5.35 percent on Tuesday....


Joined: Dec 13 2009
Transnational open assembly – Coming to a city near you!


It seems that resistance is not enough; neither escape. What has been proven in recurrent instances during the past two years is that the question (im)posed by innumerable subjectivities is not that of resistance against the attacks, neither the construction of evading alternatives; it is simply and purely the unformulated, speechless, hence ungraspable, unpredictable and fearful refusal.

As anonymous, unformed and unformable part of this non-representable movement, we invite everyone who is part of this scattered, bewildered and confused street thought and action to come and form a two-day Open assembly in Athens, where the monsters of crisis the global European South (from London to Madrid and from Berlin to Rome, as well as the upheavals and insurrections in North Africa) will exchange experience and ideas in order to further contaminate the European underdogs with hopeless rage and hopeful fear.

Following the 5th of May 2010 demonstration in Athens, the Economist published in its front-page an image from Athens with the title ‘Coming to a city near you?’. Today we replace the question mark with an exclamation mark. The networks that link Syntagma with Tahrir, Barcelona, London or New York are stronger than ever; like a chain of events occupations, demonstrations, initiatives for collective and un-mediated refusal become transnational.

We invite everyone individually and collectively to come to the assembly in order to think in common how we can disperse this absolute refusal and find ways to work together against the economic and political dogma of the crisis across established national, economic and political borders. Our aim is to open up to the various forms of active and absolute refusal that emerge in our every day interconnected lives, and to create common time and spaces of struggles, practices and actions.

Athens, 21-22 March 2012
Occupied theatre Empros
Riga Pallamidou 2, Psyrri

Joined: Dec 13 2009

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