On Thursday in Athens during the mass workers' protests we saw the state collaborating with hooligans and provocateurs against the labour movement. What is now required is a political general strike! Here we publish a statement by the Greek Marxists of Marxistiki Foni.

Today (October 19), the first day of the 48-hour general strike in Greece was sensational. Apart from the government and public utilities workers that participated in the strike massively, hundreds of thousands of workers from the private sector came out on strike for the first time, and also joining the millions of striking workers were tens of thousands of small businesspeople and shopkeepers who closed the shutters to their shops in solidarity.

The situation in Greece is becoming more and more revolutionary as each day passes. The country has been paralysed by a wave of strikes centred on the public sector and state owned enterprises, which is the workers’ response as they attempt to ward off the terrible attacks of the government. This wave of strikes was anticipated by the mass occupation movement in the universities and schools in September, which proved once again that the youth is a sensitive barometer of the class struggle.

The financial crisis in Greece is constantly in the headlines and focusing everyone’ attention on what it could lead to. As we have explained before, the reason for this is not due to the objective economic weight of the Greek economy within European and world capitalism. In absolute terms Greece only accounts for 2% of the European Union’s GDP and even its public debt is only 3% of the total public debt of the Eurozone. The point is, however, that Greece is the weakest link in European capitalism which is now at the centre of the global capitalist crisis.

In spite of a massive mobilisation of the workers and youth, a movement of revolutionary dimensions, the PASOK government managed to push through parliament its austerity measures. This comes at a price, however, for now the masses have had a taste of their own strength and have been deeply politicised. The Greek Marxists of Marxisti Foni and Revolution provide here a balance sheet of the situation.

Yesterday the Greek parliament approved the austerity measures required to get further lending from the European Union. The PASOK government is determined to force through its austerity measures, even though 75% of the population is totally opposed to any further austerity being imposed on them. [Note: this article was written on the basis of discussions with the Greek comrades of the IMT, of Marxistiki Foni, presently intervening in Syntagma Square].

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