Yesterday, December 15, Greece was shaken by yet another powerful general strike, which saw at least 80,000 workers march through the streets of Athens, with many more demonstrating in other cities against the latest round of austerity measures introduced by the government. A very angry mood is developing among workers and youth, which will inevitably lead to a major confrontation between workers and the capitalist class.

The results of the recent municipal and regional elections in Greece clearly outline the current social and political crisis in the country. The main feature that stands out is the rejection of both the PASOK government and the New Democracy, the right-wing conservative opposition. This was expressed by a high level of abstentions and also by the increase in the votes for various Left forces, especially in the largest municipalities of Greece. In particular, the growth of the KKE [Communist Party] reveals a shift to the left within the Greek electorate.

During the past few days the PASOK government in Greece and “world market pundits” have attempted to create an artificial picture of “euphoria”, regarding the perspectives for the Greek economy. In reality Greek capitalism is on the verge of an even deeper crisis which will unleash class war on a scale reminiscent of the events in the 1960s and 1970s.

The protest of the Ministry of Culture workers began on Tuesday using banners and distributing leaflets stating their demands to foreign tourists and locals visiting the Acropolis. Their request was to renew the contracts of their co-workers who cover permanent needs of the ministry but who are employed on fixed term contracts.

In the recent period the response of the Greek working class to a series of severe austerity packages has been magnificent. We have seen mass mobilisations, public sector strikes and general strikes. In spite of all this, the PASOK government has pushed through several austerity packages and is preparing even more attacks. The question is therefore posed as to where the movement goes from here. What is the next step?

The constant attacks on the Greek working class over recent months have finally brought the situation to boiling point. The workers have had enough! They are not prepared to pay for a crisis which is not of their making. Yesterday Greece was totally paralysed as the workers and youth came out massively in protest. The tragic killing of three bank workers, however, is being used to distract attention away from this impressive show of strength by the Greek working class.

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