The people of Greece face an unprecedented economic and political crisis. They are being driven to poverty and mass unemployment by the demands of the so-called Troika – the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund which has imposed Lucas Papademos, formerly of Vice-President of the ECB, as Prime Minister.
Hospitals in Greece are running out of basic medicines, nearly half of all young people are unemployed, workers in some sectors have not been paid for months, and many are forced to resort to soup kitchens or scavenge from rubbish dumps.
Now the Troika demands a cut of 23% to the minimum wage, the sacking of tens of thousands of public sector workers and the decimation of pensions which have already lost nearly 50% of their value. International capital is asset stripping an entire country and ripping apart its social fabric.
Greece is at the cutting edge of the austerity measures that are being introduced across Europe. All the evidence shows that while these measures may protect the interests of the rich, they just make matters worse for the majority of the population. What happens in Greece today we will see in Portugal tomorrow and in Ireland the day after. In Britain, the Coalition government is pursuing similar measures which will see workers earnings cut, working longer for a smaller pension, and the dismantling of the NHS along with other public services.
Mikis Theodorakis, famous Greek composer of Zorba’s Dance, and Manolis Glezos, veteran resistance fighter against the Nazi occupation, have issued a statement calling for a European Front to defend the people of Greece and all those facing austerity.
The Coalition of Resistance and the People’s Charter have decided to support this call and agreed to work with trades unions, campaigns and parties across Europe to establish a European Solidarity Campaign to defend the people of Greece. The campaign aims to organise solidarity and raise practical support for the people of Greece; they cannot be made to pay for a crisis for which they are not responsible.
We are writing to you to ask you to endorse this campaign and to publicise it to others.
Below is a list of initial signatories. We will be calling an organising meeting for the campaign in the next week.
Andrew Burgin – Secretary, Coalition of Resistance
Tony Benn – President, Coalition of Resistance
John Hendy – Co-Chair, People’s Charter
Len McCluskey – General Secretary, UNITE
Mark Serwotka – General Secretary, PCS
Christine Blower, General Secretary NUT
Bob Crow – General Secretary, RMT
Billy Hayes – General Secretary, CWU
Michelle Stanistreet – General Secretary, NUJ
Manuel Cortes – General Secretary, TSSA
Sally Hunt, General Secretary UCU
Matt Wrack – General Secretary, FBU
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Caroline Lucas MP
John McDonnell MP
Tariq Ali, Writer
Romayne Phoenix – Chair Coalition of Resistance
Imran Khan – Co Chair People’s Charter
Frank Cooper – President National Pensioners Convention [pc]
Lee Jasper – BARAC
Paul Mackney – Vice-Chair, Coalition of Resistance (former GS NATFHE/UCU)
Ann Pettifor, New Economics Foundation
James Meadway – Senior Economist, New Economics Foundation
Rachel Newton – Convenor People’s Charter
Sean Rilla Razka – President elect ULU
Pete Murry Green Party Trade Union Group
Peter Allen Convenor Green Left
Patrick Sikorski RMT
Clare Solomon – co-editor Springtime: The New Student Rebellions
Cherry Sewell – Coalition of Resistance
Cat Boyd Chair Coalition of Resistance Glasgow
Aaron Kiely, NUS National Executive
Fiona Edwards, Student Broad Left
John Rees, Counterfire
Fred Leplat, Socialist Resistance
International Socialist Group, Scotland
Heinrich Buecker, Berlin gegen Krieg, (Anti-War Cafe Berlin)
Martin Mayer, UNITE Executive Council member for Passenger Transport
Dr Jack Czauderna, (retired GP)
Dr Maureen O’Leary, (retired Consultant Psychiatrist)
For more information, follow the links below: