A wave of strikes, occupations and demonstrations is erupting all across Greece.
Transport workers and air traffic controllers brought all traffic to a standstill on Friday 7 October. Bin workers continue their strike, and the whole of Athens is suffocated by uncollected rubbish. Utility workers are occupying their central offices and considering further action,
Teachers and council workers are to demonstrate on 11 October. Greek petrol workers are to start a continuous general strike from 11 October. Archaeologists and tax collectors have called 48-hour-strikes.
Students are still occupying universities and schools. A movement of civil disobedience is building up, refusing to comply with any new taxes imposed by the Troika (European Union, European Central Bank, and IMF) and the government.
All these different streams of resistance are to meet and unify their voices against the measures of the government and the Troika in a 19 October general strike called by the big union federations, GSEE and ADEDY.
The popularity of the ruling party, Pasok, has plummeted to 17% in the latest polls. New Democracy, the Greek conservative party, leads Pasok, but at only 22%. Those two parties got 78% of the vote between them in 2009, but now 60% refuse to back either of the two big parties.
The minor parliamentary parties have not gained much in the polls. The ultra-right populist party Laos is at about 6%, the Greek Communist Party (KKE) at seven or eight per cent, and Syriza (a loose coalition around the old Eurocommunist party) at 5%. Over 30% back parties not represented in parliament, or refuse to choose.
The ruling class does not have a secure solution in terms of political representation. The formation of an emergency coalition government of national unity is up for discussion, but in polls over 50% oppose the idea.
New Democracy is calling for new elections, and promising renegotiation of the austerity measures with the Troika, but on the basis of speeding up the privatisation of the public sector and utilities. In polls, over 60% oppose new elections.
KKE is also calling for new elections, hoping to capitalise electorally. Syriza proposes a coalition of centre left forces with ecologists and sections of Pasok that oppose the Troika and the austerity measures.
The situation shows the necessity of an anti-capitalist manifesto and a revolutionary left with, as its strategic goal and aim, the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism.
We need an aggressive workers’ front to push forward a programme of transitional demands — abolish the debt; not a penny for the creditors; nationalisation under workers’ control of the banks, the public sector, the utility companies, and big business with no compensation; workers’ control of prices; wage increases; work for all — and open the road to socialism.