Whip the workers to save the bosses
The attack in “Halyvourgia” almost monopolised the PM's speech in the parliament group of New Democracy, showing their fear and hate towards class-oriented struggles.
The three party government of ND–PASOK-DIMAR, based on the words of the prime minister, appears to be determined to use the “whip” of state violence and repression to crush the people's and workers' struggles and guarantee the profitability of business groups, escalating the war.
With the unprecedented, dirty and slanderous attack launched against the heroic strikers of “Halyvourgia”, he confirmed beyond any doubt that the real target is the whole working class. At the same time he made it clear that the demolition of labour and insurance rights and the crushing of workers' struggles by any means necessary, is already decided by the government and is a precondition for economic recovery, the renewal of the profitability of the monopolies and the “attraction of investments”.
Basically, with yesterday's speech, A. Samaras placed the right to strike in front of the firing squad. He announced in advance the revocation of those labour and insurance rights that were left standing and openly declared war against the workers who stand up and organise against the antipopular politics and who struggle to overthrow it.
At the same time he reaffirmed the commitment of the three-party government towards its lenders and partners, not only to implement all the brutal and antipopular measures they have jointly decided upon, but to take even more measures! He himself didn't hide that “the new approach of the government is aggressive”, being quick to clarify that what this means is “wherever we can, we will surpass the goals to which we have committed”(!).
Commitments inside and outside of the country
More specifically, Samaras, in his first speech after the policy statements during yesterday's session of the parliament group of ND:
1. Confirmed beyond any doubt that the attack of the riot police against the strikers of Halyvourgia is the “general rehearsal” for the crushing of the people's and workers' struggles by any means necessary. He said provocatively “We showed in the yard of “Halyvourgia” that we mean what we say”, while at the same time he waged a dirty and slanderous war against the strikers, in order to justify the gangster-like attack of the riot police. He shamelessly claimed that “A group of trade unionists had taken over a factory for seven months, keeping from work those who wanted to work and driving hundreds of workers to unemployment. The factory was about to close. We stopped this”.
The attack of the riot police against the strikers of “Halyvourgia” was presented by the prime minister as an important signal of the government during the first month of office, indicating willingness to “regain the country's credibility abroad, something necessary to attract investments, create job positions, regain our competitiveness”
He announced in advance the demolition of the labour rights and the de facto cancellation of the right to strike, in the name of “the right to work”, as they now call strike-breaking and the deployment of employers' mechanisms! With brazen cynicism he claimed: “We have the utmost respect towards the workers' rights. Especially the most sacred one: The right to work! Which was being violated and directly threatened. We restored it. It's that simple”.
At the same time, he clearly suggested that he will be sending the riot police to every factory where the workers strike to defend their rights. He pointedly said “We're sending a clear message everywhere: While we are in this unemployment, trade union practices such as this are used that threaten to close more factories, we will not sit idle looking at desperate workers losing their jobs”.
He also repeated the reactionary position that he expressed before the elections, i.e that he finds it unthinkable for labour and other rights to exist when there is unemployment! He brazenly argued that “labour rights are sacred. But for labour rights to exist there has to be work! If someone is unemployed, his labour rights are revoked in the most brutal way”, brutally distorting reality and attempting to obfuscate that it is capitalism and monopolies that generate unemployment.
In the same spirit and completely shamelessly, he didn't hesitate to present himself as the protector of the unemployed (!) stating shamelessly that “those that supposedly defend the workers' rights by sending them earlier to unemployment are pitiless! They are enemies of the workers and of labour rights” (!) In order to make his fairy tale role as the workers' protector more convincing, he pompously claimed that the government during the four years of office will lower unemployment from 24%, where it stands today, to 10% by destroying once and for all labour relations and splitting a (part-time) job so it can be share by two or even three unemployed persons.
He made it clear that the currently promoted exit plan out of the crisis in favour of the plutocracy will include more brutal and reactionary measures, driving the people to unregulated bankruptcy and poverty. Answering the question of “how we will achieve our goals – what is our plan” made by himself, he noted : “First we will show that the country respects its goals, which are our goals. Then we will show that we can implement everything that has to be done. Then we will show that in order to achieve our goals some things have to change, especially those that aggravate and deepen the recession”.
In this context, he announced in advance sweeping privatisations and the “fast track” selling off of public property. He noted that “We can do more and faster as regards structural changes, privatisations and the utilization of assets. We have already sent this message. And now we have a very limited time to prove that we mean what we say”.
That is exactly why yesterday he rushed to announce the list with the first abolitions and mergers of public institutions. He also mentioned that the government will soon introduce a law which will “drastically limit bureaucracy and everything that drives away investments” in order for “the investors to be able to come to Greece”.
The president of the Commission who is visiting Athens tomorrow, is expected to offer his support in order to “bring the program back in track” towards the government .Tomorrow at noon, the new meeting of the three political leaders who support the government will also take place, in order to decide the measures' package of a total of 3+11.5 billion over the next three years and also the list of the businesses that will be privatized.
Translated by: Yannis Tembelis
Translation edited by: Lenin Reloaded