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.

As they resort to the “rescue plan” of the EU and the IMF which is usury of the worst degree, the government, the bourgeoisie and their political mouthpieces in the media cultivate a climate of unprecedented psychological terrorism towards the working class.

Since the crisis in Greece has hit the headlines there have appeared in the bourgeois media many stories about how Greece has too many civil servants, how the working week is very short, how people retire early on fat pensions, and so on, as if this were the cause of the crisis. Facts and figures, however, can be very stubborn things and they tell a completely different story.

The downgrading of Greece’s credit ratings by Standard & Poor’s has sent shockwaves around the world’s financial markets, with stock exchanges seeing significant falls yesterday. The fear is that Greece could default and drag the rest of the eurozone into a severe crisis, putting immense pressure on the euro. The problem the bourgeois face is the Greek working class, which is not taking this lying down.

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