Category: Greece
Who is to blame for Greece’s disastrous wildfires?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Who is to blame for Greece’s disastrous wildfires?

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/08/who-is-to-blame-for-greeces-disastrous.html

Firefighters in Greece battle wildfires northeast of Athens for a third day trying to prevent a blaze that scorched thousands of hectares of pine forest from spreading further. The fire near Athens started in Kalamos, a coastal holiday spot some 45 km (30 miles) northeast of the capital, and spread to three more towns, damaging dozens of homes. A state of emergency was declared in the area.

 
On Monday 14 August, firefighters battled more than 90 forest fires across Greece, an outbreak fed by dry winds and hot weather that saw blazes burning near Athens, in the Peloponnese, and on the Ionian islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia.
 
ΚΚΕ: Both SYRIZA and New Democracy share responsibility for their policies over forest protection, land commercialization, privatization of firefighting services.
 
Communicating with the Citizens Protection Minister Nikos Toskas, the parliamentary representative of the Communist Party of Greece Thanasis Pafilis asked for measures in order to combat wildfires, while a KKE group headed by MP Giannis Giokas visited the area of Varnavas in Attica. 
 
In a statement issued on Monday, the KKE mentions: “The existence of a possible arson plan based on the commercialization of the land, not only does not decrease, but increases the responsibilities of the SYRIZA-ANEL government which, following the policy of the ND-PASOK governments, maintains and strengthens the under-funding and the huge deficiencies in the sector of forest protection and firefighting. As a result of that, the “fight” between the SYRIZA-ANEL government and New Democracy over the burned land, cannot hide their guilt for their “incendiary” policy”. (Source: 902.gr).

 
Michalis Michael, Firefighter (retired): “All governments dismantled forest protection”.
 
In an interview with Real FM radio, the retired firefighter and KKE member Michalis Michael, underlined that the state authorities should be ready to combat the weather conditions, the many fronts and any arson plan but it is not because the policy of the governments is to shrink spending on fire protection.
 
As Michael said, since 2009 and each following year, 120 million Euros have been reduced from the Firefighting Service budget and added that hundreds of firefighting vehicles are stationary due to faults, because the necessary credits do not exist. 
 
Moreover, he said that the force of the Firefighting Service has been decreased by 4,000 seats in the permanent, while the aim is the privatization that has already taken place with air-firefighting and commercialization, the sale of fire safety as it has been done with Fraport, as well as of the privatized road axes. 
 
“Our co-workers are executed in cold blood”: PAME denounces new occupational murders in Greece
| August 14, 2017 | 8:11 pm | Greece, Labor, PAME | No comments

Thursday, August 10, 2017

“Our co-workers are executed in cold blood”: PAME denounces new occupational murders in Greece

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/08/our-co-workers-are-executed-in-cold.html

“Our co-workers are executed in cold blood” points out a recent statement issued by the Executive Secretariat of the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) in Greece, regarding the new occupational “accidents” in the country.
It must be noted that on August 1st, two workers were killed and two were severely injured during work inside a biological waste treatment shaft in the town of Skala, in Laconia, Peloponnese. A 51-year old worker was cleaning the shaft when he started having breathing problems and called for help. A 37-year old Greek rushed to his assistance and jumped in the pit but he also felt unwell. Two more men, a 66-year old and a 22-year old who jumped in the pit also suffered from respiratory problems. Furthermore, two firemen and one policeman who participated in the efforts to save the men were also treated for breathing problems.
Other recent victims of occupational murders include a 43-year old fishery worker in Magnisia, central Greece, as well a worker at the Corfu airport.
“The worker isn’t a number in statistics”, writes the PAME statement and continues: “These colleagues will not go back to their families. They can’t anymore dream and struggle for a better world and a decent life for their children”.
“Capital kills. It does not care about the life of the workers. Above all, it has one god, the profit. That is vefiried by the 6,515 occupational “accidents” that took place only in 2016, 73 of which were fatal”.
“It means that it is cheaper (for the employers) to have the workers killed, as long as they do not take the necessary measures for their safety”, stresses out the PAME statement and adds: “The occupational murders bear a political seal. They are premeditated. They are the antiworkers policies which sweep the labor rights, which increase exploitation in the working places, with endless 12-hours long labor in miserable conditions, without any measures of hygiene and security, with hunger wages, under the terrorism of the employer…”.
The statement of the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) strikes against the current SYRIZA government, as well as the previous ones: “All the New Democracy, PASOK governments, as well as the current SYRIZA-ANEL one, offered with their laws a free field for the activities of business interests, they offered free and flexible labor. They removed whatever “prevented” their profitability. They handed over (public) Health to the private capital and the working class is paying a very high price.”
PAME demands the legal punishment of the employer-contractor of the biological waste treatment shaft in Skala, as well as compensation to the families of the murdered and injured workers. Stating that “the life and health of the working people is more valuable”, PAME also presents a list of demands to the government and calls the working class people to invigorate their fight for their rights.
Tsipras-Varoufakis: Loyal servants of the capitalist system

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tsipras-Varoufakis: Loyal servants of the capitalist system

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/tsipras-varoufakis-loyal-servants-of.html
By Nikos Mottas*
 
During the last few days we are witnessing a highly hypocritical “blame game” between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. In his latest book titled “Adults in the room”, Varoufakis tries to present himself as a “fighter” who resisted Europe’s “deep establishment”.
 
In his “political thriller”, the ex-finance minister describes how the Tsipras government handled the negotiations with its creditors, outlining the role each government official played during that period. As for his former collaborator, Varoufakis writes among other things: Alexis Tsipras appears totally overwhelmed, unable to collide with his own consultants who were pro loan agreement, in some cases he was totally manipulated by the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ Troika”.
From his side, in a recent interview with the “Guardian”, the Greek PM launches an indirect attack against Varoufakis. We quote from the interview: “I have made mistakes … big mistakes,” he says, adding that his biggest error may have been “the choice of people in key posts”. Asked if that is a direct reference to his first finance minister, the maverick economist Yanis Varoufakis, the leftist rejects the notion, saying he was the right choice for an initial strategy of “collision politics”, but dismisses the plan he presented had Greece been forced to make the dramatic move to a new currency as “so vague, it wasn’t worth talking about”.
The “blame game” between Tsipras and Varoufakis– two politicians whose role as servants of the bourgeoisie has been undoubtedly proved- has nothing to do with the actual interests of the Greek people. Both of them share immense responsibility for deceiving the people, both before and after the January 2015 elections.
Regarding the role of Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Varoufakis, let us remind the following:
As an opposition party, SYRIZA had promised to tear up the austerity memorandums, which the previous governments had signed with the foreign lenders (the EU, the ECB and the IMF), and which contained the antiworker-antipeople measures. It was February 2015, just a few weeks after SYRIZA’s electoral victory, when the then Finance Minister Varoufakis revealed that the government agrees with 70% of the “reforms” included in the memoranda and disagrees with 30%, which it describes as “toxic”.
As an opposition party, SYRIZA had established a fierce rhetoric against privatizations. After being elected in the government, according to the statement of the then Finance Minister, Y. Varoufakis, the position had changed: “We want to move on from the rationale of cut price sales to the rationale of their development in partnership with the private sector and foreign investors”! So, the government of Tsipras and Varoufakis had adopted privatizations in order to reinforce the private sector but also tried to present other forms of privatizations, like, for example, public private partnerships and concessions to business groups, etc as being beneficial.
The- highly advertised by Tsipras and Varoufakis- “negotiations” between the Greek government and the creditors had a specific content which wasn’t related to the “end of austerity”, as SYRIZA and other opportunist or social democratic parties were claiming. That specific content was- and still is- an inter-bourgeois game, related to the needs of the monopoly groups which arise from the negative consequences of the deep capitalist crisis.
Regarding the so-called “revelations” of Yanis Varoufakis and the “blame game” between the former finance minister and PM Tsipras, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) has made the following comments:
If the revival of the discussion about 2015 proves something, that is how the dominant circles of the system and the EU “used” SYRIZA and its fake radicalism in order to continue the antipeople policy that New Democracy and PASOK didn’t finish, as well as to sow frustration within the people.
It also proves that the real pro-people alternative does not exist in the various sectors of the capital that lead the people to bankruptcy, inside or outside the eurozone, for the sake of capitalist profitability, but towards a radically different way of development, in favor of the popular needs” (23/7/2017).
The KKE also states: “The transformation of SYRIZA into a “pure blood” bourgeois social democratic party cannot be explained neither with Mr. Tsipras’ statements of repentance nor with “political thriller” like the ones of Varoufakis. That was the specified ending of a party which undertook the management of the antipeople capitalist way and the service of the capital’s needs, something that the KKE had predicted from the very first moment” (24/7/2017).
Indeed, neither Mr.Tsipras nor Mr.Varoufakis have the right to pose as “defenders” of the people’s rights. Their role is well-known to the working class of Greece. Both SYRIZA and the new political platform of Varoufakis (DiEM25) are loyal servants of the capitalist system: despite any particular differences, their goal is common and that is to foster illusions among the working class about a supposed “pro-people” management of capitalist economy.
The capital- the bourgeois class- has the ability to use a variety of (supposedly) “radical” political representatives who are eager to serve the aim of people’s manipulation. The interests of the working class do not lie in the demagoguery of any Tsipras or Varoufakis, but in the strengthening of the struggle against the bourgeois class and the capitalist shackles, for worker’s power and towards the construction of a new society, the one of socialism-communism. 
 
* Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of ‘In Defense of Communism’.
National Strike: Tourism workers in Greece raised their voice against modern slavery
| July 21, 2017 | 9:02 pm | Greece, Labor, PAME | No comments

Saturday, July 22, 2017

National Strike: Tourism workers in Greece raised their voice against modern slavery

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/national-strike-tourism-workers-in.html
With militant demonstrations and picket lines in front of big hotels, the class unions held successfully the National Strike of Workers in Tourism, on Thursday, July 20. The Tourism workers in many cities all over Greece and especially in tourist areas like Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and more, went on strike.
The main strike rally took place in Athens, where the picket lines and the workers of many big hotels met. The strike had great success in hotels like the Metropolitan, Athens Hilton, Νovotel and Royal Olympic. The strike rally took place in front of the Ministry of Labour, protesting against the anti-workers legislation, especially for the young workers, students and apprentices. The rally also stopped in front of the National Union of Tourism, the association of tourism enterprises, where the unions wrote in red paint “Here are those who drink the workers’ blood”, and demanded National Collective Agreement, imposed to all tourism enterprises and hotels.

Meanwhile, the class-collaborationist Unions…

The so called National Federation of Tourism Workers, (member of the leadership of the GSEE, the ETUC affiliate in Greece) called for participation in the strike in Tourism yesterday.
Of course, this union did nothing in order to prepare and support the strike. As GSEE, they have also accepted all the wage cuts and the antiworkers’ policies of the Governments, EU, IMF.
This led for their main rally in Athens yesterday, to have zero (0) participants. Not even the president of the union, bothered to appear. Below, is the photo of their rally. This is the true picture. NOT even ONE person participated.
After some time, they just took down the stage and left.
This is the reality about the forces of class collaboration, the ETUC. This is the condition they have created in the trade union movement. No action. No struggles. No connection with the workers.
Microsoft accumulates immense profits, starts layoff of thousands of employees worldwide

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Microsoft accumulates immense profits, starts layoff of thousands of employees worldwide

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/microsoft-accumulates-immense-profits.html
The multinational giant Microsoft– despite its immense profits- is laying off more than 3,000 employees, with the cuts falling largely on the company’s sales force. The vast majority of layoffs will hit employees located outside the United States, although some will also be in Redmond. Greek Telecommunication & IT Workers Unions has condemned the lay offs:
The Telecommunications & Information Technology Unions of Athens, Thessaloniki, Forthnet and 360 Connect (Vodafone) members of PAME (All-Workers Militant Front) and WFTU (World Federation of Trade Unions) condemn the multinational Microsoft, which announced that it will lay-off 3000-4000 from its sales departments.

The “reason” of the layoffs is the company’s decision to proceed with restructuring aiming at the further development of other services eg cloud. The use of the new possibilities offered by science and technology development under the ongoing effort the of monopolies to increase their profitability and competitiveness leads thousands of workers to unemployment, even to giant companies such as Microsoft.

The policy of layoffs in the context of restructuring to boost profitability has been followed by other IT companies around the world. In a sector of tremendous profitability, the extreme competition of business groups requires continuous sacrifices from the workers, deterioration in working conditions, wage cuts and abolition of workers’ rights.
Against the anti-workers’ policies of the business groups, workers have the weapon of organization and solidarity
We express our solidarity to the thousands of Microsoft employees and call them to coordinate our struggle, to protect our jobs and our rights
Telecommunications & Information Technology Union of Athens
Telecommunications & Information Technology Union of Thessaloniki
Telecommunications & Information Technology Union Forthnet
Telecommunications & Information Technology Union 360.
Source: PAME.
Greek tourism industry: Unpaid labour, starvation wages and huge profits for the monopoly groups

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Greek tourism industry: Unpaid labour, starvation wages and huge profits for the monopoly groups

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/greek-tourist-industry-unpaid-labour.html
What lies behind the luxurious and idyllic facade of Greece’s tourism industry? The answer is that tourism consists another field for monopolies’ profitability, based on unpaid workers, layoffs, unsourced workers, starvation wages, lack of collective agreements etc. 
 
This is the actual meaning of “economic growth” that the SYRIZA-ANEL government, as well as the New Democracy and the other bourgeois parties, promote. 
 
Even if thousands of tourists arrive in Greece every day, hundreds of employees work daily to the tourism industry with humiliating salaries and exhausting shifts that last from dawn till dusk. The average – daily room rate on all 4-5-star hotels is equal to the salary of a waiter! In a tourist country like Greece, where 25 million of tourists are expected this summer, hotel workers cannot afford a decent vacation and relaxing period. This is Capitalism.
On July 20 workers on Hotel-Tourism-Catering in Greece are going on Strike against the worsening of the working conditions and demand the reinstatement of Collective Contracts for the whole sector, especially the big, 5star hotels, owned by big multinational corporations.
 
PAME (All-Workers Militant Front), the forces of which actively support the preparation of the strikes, inform and participate in the initiatives for the success of the mobilization, calls all labour unions to express their solidarity with the strike of the Hotel-Tourism-Catering workers.
The Unions’ call to the strike follows:
 Workers in tourism, hotels and catering industry in Greece
Cookswaitersmaidscleaning personnelsalesmen, receptionists, travel agents, and all other employees to hotels, catering companies, restaurants, etc
We cannot stand anymore the starvation wages, with no collective agreements. Working non-stop overtime shifts, without insurance and social security and sometimes even without getting paid for months.
Dozens of trade unions of tourism, hotels & catering industry from all over Greece, are calling you to join and protest with us:
ENOUGH!! ON JULY 20TH WE GO ON STRIKE
  • The “fairytale” of the SYRIZA Government and employees that all workers in tourism benefit from the growth of Tourism in Greece does not convince anyone of us who suffer from their policies.
  • They lie when they claim that we are working, that we are well-paid employees and we work under descent working conditions.
The reason is that the workers in tourism & catering industry in Greece, not only suffer from unemployment, but also are part-time workers, poorly paid- if not unpaid- and our health is brutally abused to their modern 5star hotels!!!
Even worse, we live the exploitation daily to the chain catering companies, where we get hired & fired in a blink of an eye, when workers cannot work under extreme pressure.
We will not remain silent!
Hundreds of us work only on seasonal jobs. Many work only 3 days per week.
At the same time, other colleagues have to work non stop for more than 10hours per day as “outsourced workers” through outsourcing “slave-trade”companies.
Young people that now work first time in tourism sector, full of dreams, end up sleeping in containers during the tourist season, working for free in order to “get experienced”.
And if by chance they are paid something, that is not enough, not even for their transportation from/to the working place. On the same time, the situation for the employees with contracts is not much better.
Nowadays Greece faces a unique growth, with an income exceeding every year €15 billion coming from our job while most of us do not have the necessary to survive. While welcoming 30million tourists every year in a country with more than 10.000 hotels and hundreds of restaurants, café, bars, very few of us have ourselves the “luxury” to go on holiday with their families.
This is the tourism they want to impose, a tourism that destroys & vanishes every single small working place and businessman who tries to compete the big business group of companies. This is the development they want to bring everywhere. And this is the truth.
Workers at Athens Ledra Hotel. Athens Ledra, one of the biggest 5-star hotels in the centre of Athens, suspended its operation just on the beginning of summer high season, end of May 2016. The owners of the hotel, who became richer, all these years that tourism is growing in Greece, literally abandoned the 230 employees without salary for more than 3 months. The employers decided to invest their funds to other business activities (constructions, energy etc), where the government grants are bigger. Pure capitalism.

WE CANNOT STAND THIS ANYMORE.
  • We must take over.
  • We must raise our voice.
  • We must strengthen our resistance and our demands along with the trade unions that care about the workers and their rights.
ORGANIZE OUR FIGHT:
  • Through a massive participation to the strike, in order to impose to the employers to accept collective agreements, all around the country
  • By demanding to live and work in a descent way, with a salary enough to cover our needs
  • By demanding the abolition of any new way , which the employers find, every now and then, in order to impose cuts to our salaries
  • By gaining, through our fight, protection & insurance measures for the unemployed colleagues and their families, during the entire duration of the unemployment
  • By demanding the abolition of the outsourcing companies that act as modern “slave traders”, in order all of us to have job with rights.
  • By fighting for human working conditions, health and safety in the working place
We shall take initiatives in order to inform all our colleagues around Greece for the demands we have and expose the employers and the extreme exploitation we’ ve been through We shall become better on revealing what is their “growth”, which steps on us and our lives for their profit. We must demand our growth, which will bring a life with dignity and rights for us and our families, for everyone. We must fight for our lives, in order to be able to go on holidays, enjoy cultural activities and recreate ourselves, not by buying all these as a luxury, but as a common right being deprived by the majority of the people today
With The Class Trade Unions On The Front Line
We Fight For Our Needs.
July 20 National Strike In Tourism.
KKE Gen.Secretary D.Koutsoumbas: “People’s struggle against capitalism is what brings hope”

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

KKE Gen.Secretary D.Koutsoumbas: “People’s struggle against capitalism is what brings hope”

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/kke-gensecretary-dkoutsoumbas-peoples.html
Source: inter.kke.gr.
 
On July 3 2017, a pre-agenda discussion in Parliament was held at the level of the party leaders on the issue of the economy, at the request of the President of ND, K.Mitsotakis, on the occasion of the recent agreement in the Eurogroup regarding the completion of the second “review” of the Greek economy.

As was expected, the Prime minister A.Tsipras, the President of ND K.Mitsotakis and the leaders of the rest of the bourgeois parties attempted to use confrontational language in order to conceal their strategic convergence around the basic demands of capital, swapping accusations about who “undermines” the aims of capital and who serves them better.

In contrast, the GS of the CC of the KKE, D.Koutsoumpas, noted that the real hope for the working class and people is not to be found in the plans and negotiations of the capitalists. Dimitris Koutsoumpas underscored that the biggest memorandum is the capitalist development path itself. He noted that the fairy tales about “just development” in capitalism, which allegedly benefits both the monopolies and the people, are collapsing every day in the workplaces, where the harsh exploitation of the workers is realized.

The GS of the CC of the KKE noted that the euphoric atmosphere, which the government is trying to create amongst a people that has been driven to its knees by the policies of all the governments until now, is provocative and outrageous. In reference to Eurogroup agreement on the 15th of June, he underlined that this confirms that capitalist development does not mean the “end of the sacrifices” for the people, but signals the beginning of a new round of the intensification of the exploitation of the workers. a constant anti-people offensive.

At the same time, D. Koutsoumpas lambasted the country’s participation in the NATO plans that serve the aims of big capital, with the danger that the Greek people will pay an even higher prices for the interests of capital.
The GS of the CC of the KKE stressed that real hope for the working class and people can only be created by coming into conflict and rupture with the current development path. With a powerful KKE, the revitalization of the movement, the Social Alliance, with a proposal for a way out in favour of the people.
 
04/07/2017.