Greece: Cops Attack Protestors, Business As Usual For EU & IMF: More Debts And Unprecedented Humanitarian Crisis

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At least eight people were arrested and several injured tonight in Athens, Greece, when some 7,500 anti-capitalist protestors were attacked by riot police who blocked their way to the Parliament where an informal meeting of the finance and economic ministers of the EU was underway.

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Demonstrators defied a protest ban imposed by the government for the third day in a row, as police violence against them increased.

Protests against the EU’s ”austerity” (artificial poverty enforced on the working class) came hours after Greece approved new ”reforms” which will create more debts.

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On Wednesday there will be another general strike – the 30th since December 2009 – in a country where the social disaster caused by capitalist accumulation has reached the scope of a humanitarian crisis.

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Unknown number of people were injured when cops brutally attacked protestors with chemicals and batons.

These ”reforms” are actually favors done for the banks, and they are so outrageous that even the former prime-minister, who paved Troika’s way into Greece (the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund), George Papandreou, voted against them. The current government hardly came to a majority to have them voted, after they promoted them almost under the table. But even on short notice, thousands gathered in Syntagma Square outside the Parliament.

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Police arrested 7 people, after they attacked their anti-Troika demo in Athens.

The government needed these ”reforms” approved ahead the EU finance minister’s enlarging Greece’s debts by 10 billion euros, so that the country can pay down bonds.

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How to capitalize banks in Greece.

Video shows cops attacking protestors in Greece in a 3rd day of protests.

EU officials and bankers praise their ”reforms”, and call them successful and claim the country is exiting recession. 

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But by what sick logic have they the audacity to make these claims when at least a million people lost their jobs in the past years: officially admitted unemployment is 27%, the highest in Europe, second to that comes Spain.

One million is just the official number, actually there could be 2 million without way of sustaining themselves – from a total of five million working people. Those who still work have lost a quarter of their wages, and they are to lose even more over this year.

Workers are paid such miserable wages (most are paid some 380 euros) that “they cannot meet basic needs. At 13% of the workforce they represent the highest proportion of the working poor in the eurozone.”

There are 4.5 million people living in poverty.  The social disaster is so dire that a UN intervention has been officially requested: “A little more than 11% actually live in “extreme material deprivation“, which means without enough heating, electricity, and use of either a car or a telephone. It also means having a poor diet, as well as total or partial inability to meet emergency expenses or payments for rent and bills.

Only capitalists can brag about ”economic growth” when one million workers are going unpaid, some for almost two years.

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Protestors defied a ban imposed by the government as EU’s finance and economic ministers were meeting in Athens to approve more debts for Greece.

Troika is actually trying to help the current government save a defeat in the upcoming elections. 

“Austerity” (newspeak for capitalist accumulation) has caused a humanitarian crisis in Greece, as its debts were used to rescue banks in Germany and France, the same way UK did in Ireland: “98 percent of the bailout funds are directed back to Greece’s lenders, rescuing French and German banks, while only a tiny 1.6 percent of the European Stability Mechanism’s (ESM) money is entering the real Greek economy.” 

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Image from working class neighborhood, Greece, EU, 21st century.

By the end of 2012, more than 40 percent of working people were forced out of of the national insurance system by their employers. ”Outrageously, the IMF, in a working paper issued a few months ago, seems to endorse black labour practices, by claiming that paying fines for uninsured labour is more competitive than actually respecting labour laws.”

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IMF and EU forced 40,000 people to live on streets, in their economic war against working people.

IMF’s policies are indeed economic fascism: ”In contrast, in 2012, almost one million people lived below the poverty line, according to the finance ministry. Among them, more than 65,000 had to survive with less than 3 euros ($4) per day, while 102,000 people earned an income that ranged between 1,000 ($1,358) and 2,000 ($2,716) euros per year.” 

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There have been 30 general strikes in Greece since 2009.

Another proof of European hypocrisy comes from the Council of Europe, which needed 5 years to see that what they call ”austerity” in newspeak is actually threatening or destroying the lives of people. They still don’t seem to notice that their ”austerity” is actually a tool for imposing authoritarianism.

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Anti-“austerity” protests have been going on for a 3rd day in a row.

It is not known how many people have burnt alive in Greece because they could not afford electricity or heating, or how many have been killed by lack of food and medicine. Capitalists don’t even care to at least count the death toll they provoke. 

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UN has been requested to intervene in the worst humanitarian crisis in Greece, hailed by the EU and IMF as “successful reforms”.

IMF and the EU have forced 40,000 people to live on the streets. There are people who live in caves, literally. There are parents who can’t feed their kids anymore and give them to the state so they don’t die of hunger.

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In fact, the IMF is repeating its policies which they themselves admitted were a mistake – but how is it that the IMF is never put on trial for this? What they call austerity is an economic war against working people, so maybe the Hague tribunal could extend its jurisdiction if they take words like ”humanity” for real. IMF’s ”mistakes” cost human lives. They must be held accountable.

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Worst hit are the most vulnerable, and among those migrants in Greece are held in appalling conditions: ”More than 6,000 people are held in those centres, MSF said. Hundreds, possibly thousands more are held in police holding cells where conditions are even worse, as detainees have no access to the outdoors, and often have no fresh air or natural light. Although the holding cells are not equipped to house people for more than two or three days at a time, Kotsioni said MSF has encountered migrants who have been held for up to 17 months.”

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Photos via resistra.net, demotix.com, Reuters, AFP, EPA.

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Jennifer Baker is the founder and editor of Revolution News - Contact us with inquiries, tips, corrections at - revnewsmedia@gmail.com