Yesterday Greece was shaken by a massive 24 hour general strike. In some sectors there was a total walk out, and in industry as a whole 70% of the workers came out. This is the answer of the Greek working class to the government’s severe austerity measures. The task now is to build on this and keep up the pressure to get the whole package withdrawn.

What should a genuine socialist government do in the face of the severe economic and financial crisis that has hit Greece? The only real answer is a socialist programme based on the nationalisation of the banks and the commanding heights of the economy. There is no other way out. [This article was published in the latest issue of the Greek Marxist paper Marxistiki Foni, Marxist Voice, of the Marxists inside the Synaspismos party.]

The crisis of Greek capitalism is clear for all to see. The bosses want draconian economic policies to be implemented, but the workers have already given more than they can afford to give. Bosses and workers are on a collision course as the call for a 24-hour general strike on February 24 clearly demonstrates.

Greek capitalism is in a deep crisis. It is the weak link in the chain and it is beginning to break. The country risks defaulting on its debt repayments, posing a serious threat to the stability of the euro. Severe austerity measures are being imposed and these are provoking a working class backlash.

A major trade union conflict erupted in October in the Piraeus Port Authority, where dockworkers are fighting attempts to destroy all their hard-won rights, of privatisation of the port which is being handed over to COSCO, a Chinese company. After a two week strike they suspended their action awaiting results of negotiation. Now they have taken up strike action again.

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