Greece is in turmoil (see here). Workers are escalating resistance, staging their first 48-hour general strike as the government passed through vicious new austerity measures. But the Greek crisis could still spread.
The IMF and European governments are panicked that the resistance from below will smash the government’s efforts to force through the cuts and mass privatisations. The strikes and protests have added fuel to the fires of resistance in Europe.
In Spain a million people marched at the end of June, in demonstrations called by the “indignados” (outraged) movement that began occupying city squares across Spain in May. Events in Spain showed how the victory of the revolution in Egypt had, in turn, inspired resistance in Europe. In May, a one day general strike shook Italy.
Australia has been more insulated from the economic crisis. But the efforts to attack workers here are just as real. In NSW, up to 12,000 workers rallied against the new Liberal government’s attack on public sector workers with laws labelled “worse than WorkChoices”. Victoria’s Liberal Premier Ted Baillieu has announced plans to take on construction workers with an industry “code of conduct” modelled on Howard’s ABCC.
Greek workers are showing there is a way to fight back.