Through massive protests and demonstrations on the streets of Athens and other towns, the working people of Greece have rejected the plans of the government to make the people pay for the crisis.
The Greek government had earlier announced a series of attacks on the working masses. It has announced freeze on pensions, cut in pay for public sector workers, and increase in taxes.
All this has been done in the name of shoring up the bankrupt Greek government’s finances, restoring foreign investor confidence in the country’s economy, and so on.
The working class and people of Greece have been stoutly resisting the plans of the government. As early as February this year, there was a 24-hour walkout by civil servants who took to the streets with banners proclaiming "strikes and sit-ins will be our answer to austerity". The workers have been demanding that instead of asking for sacrifices from the working people – the “have-nots”, “austerity” should instead be demanded of the capitalists – those who “have”, those who made huge profits in the good years and who clearly don't want to contribute to the national effort to salvage the economy.
Greece is in debt of more than Euro 50 billion, which it has to refinance this year. Its budget deficit is more than 4 times the official limit permitted for countries in the Eurozone. For the past several months, the international speculators have had a free run on the Greek economy, and spread the notion that the economy would collapse soon. The Greek Government went to Germany and the other Euro Zone countries to “assist” it in its crisis.
Towards the end of March 2010, all the 16 Euro zone countries held a summit in Brussels and backed a financing plan to “assist” Greece, which will include International Monetary Fund (IMF) money. Euro zone nations would grant co-ordinated bilateral loans totalling to two thirds of the total amount of the “package” while the IMF would contribute the rest of the 22 billion Euro total loans. The Eurozone countries linked this “assistance” with the demand that Greek government take measures to make the working people pay for the crisis. This is what the government of Greexe proceeded to do, and this is what has forced the working class of Greece to come out onto the streets.
The protests have been continuing in Greece for over two months now. Two massive demonstrations were held in Athens on 8th April 2010. Hundreds of protesters took part in the gatherings organised by labour unions in front of the old university of Athens and the parliament building. They held up banners with slogans against the government's policies, the measures included in the “stability and growth” program announced by the government and the "interference of foreigners from Brussels and IMF in Greece". The protesters vowed to continue the strikes and demonstrations until they are heeded. This clearly shows that the working people of Greece have not accepted the EU / IMF – backed Greek government’s plan to make the people pay for the crisis.