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General strike of PAME, July 8: Workers’ direct militant response to the demolition of the social security system

The strike demonstrations organised by All Workers’ Militant Front (PAME) on Thursday 8th July in Athens and in 63 cities rank among the most massive ones over the last months.

Factories, construction sites, offices, ports, airports, public transport, media were literally paralysed. The picket lines mounted in front of numerous factories facilitated to go on strike the workers in many workplaces who face the employers’ intimidation and blackmails. In addition, the class oriented forces proceeded to symbolic sit-ins of public buildings in a series of cities. The 13th strike demonstration over the last 7 months was staged on the day when the parliament was passing the grotesque bill on social security which establishes 40 contribution years and retirement age 65 years both for men and women, abolishes the list of hazardous occupations, hands over to the big capital the property which has left to the insurance funds while at the same time it establishes wages far below the collective labour agreements for the young people under 25 years old.

In fact this bill implements the guidelines of the EU Green Paper on the pension systems, according to the “2020 strategy” promoted currently by the EU. Thus, the working class is forced to work till death while those who survive will receive a gratuity instead of a pension.

The bill was passed by the social democrat PASOK, as well as by the liberal ND and the nationalist LAOS that voted a series of separate articles, though at the same time they hypocritically voted against several others. KKE condemned the anti-labour bill and voted against it.

At the same time, anticommunism intensifies through the attack on the party’s finances. Furthermore, the new bill about the local elections promotes the ban on political parties to use coupons for their financial support. In Greece this method is followed by KKE and constitutes the main means of its financial support.

During the discussion in the Parliament, the General Secretary of the CC of KKE, Aleka Papariga, answered to the anticommunist attack and the measures of the bourgeoisie that target the activity and the economic independence of KKE. She stressed: “the war against KKE is absolutely normal. We would be surprised if it was absent under the conditions of the crisis. Nevertheless, anticommunism is a different thing. We know very well that you will turn against KKE. But you should take into consideration the following: we won’t be frightened and we also know who take part in these meetings. But this is not the point. The point is that this situation indicates that new measures are coming; that you want to beat the movement and you even call other parties to participate in this effort. We will not become a state-dependent party, neither a party serving the system nor a state-dependent party.”

In the framework of its ongoing multiform activity, which does not restrict merely to the strikes, PAME organised a big concert in the centre of Athens. The concert was held two days before the strike in cooperation with the Pan-Hellenic Music Association and the Association of Greek Actors with the participation of famous singers and actors. Thousands of friends of PAME attended the concert where the voice of strikers met with artists and workers.

The action of PAME continues in the sectors, with struggles in the workplaces, with the foundation of hundreds of factory committees throughout the country, responding to the dismissals and the employers’ intimidation that intensifies.


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