Both major parties
suffered electoral setbacks in the recent elections. The government party, the
ND, and the opposition PASOK lost out while the two major left forces, the
Communist Party and the SYRIZA gained significantly, underlining the sharp
swing to the left that is taking place in Greek society.
As Greece suffers under the heat of raging forest fires, the government faces the heat of the enraged Greek people. After years of cuts to social services, including the fire services, the state has been completely unable to deal with the crisis, leading to untold damages and the deaths of some 64 people. Similar to other disasters in recent years, these forest fires expose the utter rotteness of capitalism.
Greek capitalism is beginning to give at the seams. The days of relative calm are over. Now there is little room for manoeuvre and the system has no choice but to go on the offensive against the workers and youth. This became evident last week when the police attacked a 30,000-strong student demonstration with a brutality not seen since the days of the hated military junta in the 1970s.
The right-wing ND government is now pressing ahead once more
with its plans to privatise university education. This has reawakened the
student movement which has mobilised on a massive scale. Conveniently for the
right-wing, last week there was a missile attack on the US embassy,
which is now being used to justify greater state repression.
As we predicted, the coming to power of the right-wing ND
government two years ago has had the effect of radicalising the workers and
youth. A very militant primary school teachers' strike, massive student
mobilisations and the recent local elections, all confirm this.
The strength of the Greek student movement has been truly
amazing in these recent weeks. It forced even the conservative bureaucracy of
the trade unions to organise a solidarity strike with the students. In the mass
assemblies the students concluded that there should now be a pause and the
movement should prepare to remobilise in September.