Tony Benn, President of the Coalition of Resistance, has launched this Appeal for solidarity with the people of Greece. It is already backed by the overwhelming majority of the trades union movement. Originally posted at http://www.europeagainstausterity.org/?p=622
- A Greek translation of the statement is available.
- A German translation of the statement is available.
- A French translation of the statement available.
- A Swedish translation of the statement is available.
- A Portugese translation of the statement
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 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 reduced, working longer for a smaller pension, and the NHS dismantled 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, at its National Council meeting in Birmingham on the 11th February 2012 unanimously 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 ofGreece; 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.
Tony Benn – President, Coalition of Resistance
Andrew Burgin – Secretary, Coalition of Resistance
Len McCluskey – General Secretary, UNITE
Mark Serwotka – General Secretary, PCS
Christine Blower, General Secretary, NUT
Sally Hunt, General Secretary, UCU
Bob Crow – General Secretary, RMT
Billy Hayes – General Secretary, CWU
Michelle Stanistreet – General Secretary, NUJ
Manuel Cortes – General Secretary, TSSA
Matt Wrack – General Secretary, FBU
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Caroline Lucas MP
John McDonnell MP