Greece: another general strike against the war in Iraq

On Thursday April 3, 2003, the two general trade union federations in Greece, the GSEE (private sector) and ΑDΕDI (public sector) called a general strike against the imperialist war in Iraq. The GSEE limited itself to calling a four hour general strike, while the ADEDI called one of 24 hours. On Thursday April 3, 2003, the two general trade union federations in Greece, the GSEE (private sector) and ΑDΕDI (public sector) called a general strike against the imperialist war in Iraq. The GSEE limited itself to calling a four hour general strike, while the ADEDI called one of 24 hours.

The fact that the GSEE limited itself to calling only a four hour strike made it more difficult for large numbers of workers in the private sector to attend the demonstrations. In spite of this the unions still managed to organise big demos in every city, with hundreds of thousands of people taking part. The biggest was in Athens with over 100,000 gathering in Sintagma square and marching to the American embassy. As usual, the ΚΚΕ (the Greek Communist Party) organised a separate rally in the afternoon of the same day, continuing its policy of splitting the movement.

Again, many young people were present on the demo, mainly school students, who were very lively and very militant. Their presence on these mobilisations shows the radicalisation of the young people, that has taken place as a result of the actions of imperialism. Once again we are seeing how the whip of reaction, is raising both the consciousness and the militancy of the youth and the workers.

In the days that followed on from the general strike there were many other demonstrations. The most important of these was on the island of Crete, one of the most important US military bases in the Mediterranean is stationed. The two biggest demos on the island were organised by the CP and the Greek Social Forum with the participation of 4-5 thousand people.

According to opinion polls, 95% of the people of Greece are against the war and this fact, together with the militant and massive demonstrations, has forced the Greek Prime Minister Simitis to come out publicly against the war. Of course, we know that these are just words, because in practice the Greek government is giving big assistance to US and UK military operations. He quotes hypocritically "national interest" to justify this. But this position of the PASOK government will be just one more factor that will determine a fall in its electoral support. The government will pay for this and other policies, by losing power and, unfortunately, this will favour the right wing party, the New Democracy.