On Tuesday a general strike took place in Greece - following on from the two massive general strikes
that shook the country in the spring of 2001, and forced the government to back down on
its proposed attacks on social spending. As we said at the time, these strikes marked a watershed, a turning point.
Now the new mood of militancy has been shown once again.
Right-wing premier Berlusconi has announced his plans to modify
article 18 of the workers' statute (law protecting workers' rights) so
that it does not cover
workplaces with less than 15 workers. CGIL leader Sergio Cofferati
declared that his union would
reject all modifications and would do all in its power to stop such
being implemented. Strikes have already taken place, and it is clear
that the Italian working class will be in an even more combative mood
by the autumn. Berlusconi's anti-working class measures combined with
the effects of the current economic downturn are an explosive mixture.