Athens

Dateline Athens

SYRIZA heads new European left challenge

“For millions of people, the European dream has turned into a nightmare,” Alexis Tspiras, the leader of Greece's Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), said in a November 28 opinion piece in The Guardian.

Tsipras was explaining why he will campaign on behalf of the European Left party for president of the European commission in elections next May. He said he was driven by the “desire to reunite Europe and rebuild it on a democratic and progressive basis. There is an alternative to the present crisis and it is our duty and destiny to fight for it.”

Greece: Fresh fascist threat amid crisis

The 40th anniversary of the polytechnic uprising that helped end the Western-backed military junta in Greece was marked on November 17.

The date is a national day of remembrance and marks a defining moment in modern Greek history. The image of a tank battering down the gates to the student-occupied polytechnic school 40 years ago remains strong in the public consciousness.

To this day, it is illegal for the police and army to enter the university grounds.

Greece: Austerity causes rising suffering

The standard of living for the people of Greece has dropped dramatically since the signing of the first “memorandum” — the agreement signed by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) government with the IMF and European Union (EU) representatives last May.

The agreement has meant — among other things — unprecedented salary cuts, a rise in the allowed number of dismissals and a reduction in termination pay, and a cut in the minimum wage for those entering the workforce.

Greece: Anti-austerity struggle grows amid police violence, government panic

The Greek parliament defied huge popular opposition, including a 48-hour general strike, to pass the latest set of extreme austerity measures demanded by the “troika” (the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund) in return for fresh loans.

However, many commentators have pointed out it is one thing to vote up the measures and another to force them on an increasingly discontented populace.

Greece: Struggle grows amid police violence, gov't panic

The Greek parliament defied huge popular opposition, including a 48-hour general strike, to pass the latest set of extreme austerity measures demanded by the “troika” (the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund) in return for fresh loans.

However, many commentators have pointed out it is one thing to vote up the measures and another to force them on an increasingly discontented populace.

Greek people face new blows, Spain-inspired protests break out

It’s been a year since the “memorandum of understanding” between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Greek government was signed. It is now clear it has failed to deliver the country’s promised economic recovery.

As confirmed by the treasury data, Greece’s debt has risen rather than fallen.

At the same time, the impact on Greek people of the austerity measures demanded by the IMF has been devastating.

Official unemployment has reached about 16% — an all-time high. There are 787,000 people unemployed — 181,000 more than last year.

Greece: Vote marked by high abstention

An unprecedented high abstention rate of 39% marked elections for municipal and regional authorities for 13 region governors and 325 mayors in Greece. The second round of the elections took place on November 14.

The regions are newly created local authorities. Their formation is closely connected to the austerity program imposed on Greece by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Union (EU). The new bodies conform to the “Kallikratis” plan, a hasty reform of the administrative structure of the country.

Greek people resist attacks

In early March, after a three-month media bombardment about the country’s economic crisis, the Greek government — backed by conservative opposition parties, the European Union (EU)and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — announced harsh austerity measures for ordinary people.

These included unprecedented salary, pension, job and public services cuts and large-scale privatisation. The government offensive entails an enormous income transfer from workers and pensioners to big business and the State Revenue Office.

Greece shut down by general strike

Greece has been brought to a standstill by a general strike, with key union groups leading up to two million workers in a 24-hour stoppage against the government’s austerity program.

Tags:

Greece: Crisis, resistance and challenges for the left

“Got any thoughts on the bomb?” I asked breathlessly down the phone to a veteran Athens politics-watcher.

Tags:
Syndicate content