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.

The recent elections in Greece saw a massive shift to the left in Greek society, with a total of 56% of the electorate voting for the left parties. The PASOK alone received almost 44%. This is a vote that rejects the austerity measures of the outgoing conservative ND government. The problem is that the PASOK leaders are promising more of the same. For the workers this vote was a victory, but they did not vote for more cuts. This opens the prospect of renewed class struggle in the coming period.

On Thursday, April 2, in Greece there was a general strike. A mood of distrust of the trade union leadership emerged in the discussions with the workers. On the other hand all the workers participating in the demonstrations expressed a desire for an escalation of the struggle.

The huge eruption of youth protests in Greece in December have receded. The key element in explaining this was the role played by the leaders of the main workers' parties, who rather than build up the protest and involve the labour movement as a whole, worked to re-establish calm. Here the Greek Marxists explain the background to how this came about, but also stress the generalised mood of protest is simmering below the surface preparing new social explosions.

The events that have unfolded over the past month in Greece have revealed the immense revolutionary potential that had accumulated below the surface of society. The anger of the youth can only be explained by the severe crisis of capitalism afflicting the country, a reflection of the international economic crisis. And the conditions that exist in Greece are the same that exist across the whole of Europe.

The movement taking place in Greece demonstrates the enormous power of the working class and youth. But it also highlights the weaknesses of the leaders of the trade unions and the official Left parties who have no clear alternative to pose. The task is to build a leadership worthy of the name within the Greek labour movement.

Join us!

Help build the forces of Marxism worldwide!

Join the IMT!