Greece: Combative General Strike, counter-attack of the establishment


4th Statement of the Communist Organization of Greece (KOE)

(a) Tuesday 9 December

The demonstrations organized in midday by the teachers trade-unions and by the secondary education pupils in the centre of Athens and many other cities were combative and gathered once more dozens of thousands all over the country. In Athens the Special Forces attacked again the demonstrators with chemicals and arrested many people.

Thousands of people gathered at 3 pm in the cemetery of Paleo Faliro, where the funeral took place. In a heavy atmosphere, marked by the deep sorrow and a total silence, young and older came for the last farewell to Alexis. But the government of criminals did not respect even the funeral of the assassinated boy: While the ceremony was still taking place, a huge number of Special Forces encircled the cemetery and started provoking the people. This resulted in extended incidents; during them, a group of policemen started shooting in the air. This was an example of what the Prime-minister was meaning when he spoke of "full respect of democracy and human rights"...

At the same time in many neighborhoods of Athens and other cities the popular protests continued. In 6 working class neighborhoods around Athens, hundreds of local citizens, mostly young, attacked the respective police stations with stones and other objects. In dozens of other cities as well, as in Volos (Thessalia), Thessaloniki and Kavala (Macedonia), Chania (Creta), Mytilini (Aegean) and elsewhere, the biggest demonstrations of the last years took place, often followed by incidents with the police. In Patra (Peloponnese) the government organized gangs composed by members of the government party and of neonazi groups who appear as "peaceful citizens" and, armed with batons, tried to attack the demonstrators.

(b) Wednesday 10 December

The 24-hours General Strike met great success, much bigger than previous strikes, even in the private sector. Meetings and demonstrations took place all over Greece, with the participation of dozens of thousands of employees, workers, youth, unemployed and pensioners, despite the "personal plea of the Prime-minister not to hold public meetings in order to avoid further destruction". The central demonstration in Athens took place from 10 am to 2 pm, despite the decision of the trade-union federation leadership to limit itself in a meeting. The blocks of the Communist Organization of Greece marched from the initially fixed meeting place towards the Parliament, uniting during the demonstration with the other allies of the Coalition of Radical Left (SYRIZA). The blocks of SYRIZA composed the bulk of the whole meeting.

During the demonstration there was no police presence, so no incidents took place. The slogans put forward by KOE were: "Resign now!" (addressed to the government), "ND and PASOK (the government party and the "socialist" party) shut up, you are both thieves and killers!". After the conclusion of the demonstration and while thousands of people were still returning from the march, the Special Forces started provoking the people once again. The confrontation with the police continue until the moment we are writing these lines.

In the "legal" front, the murderer cop was brought to the prosecutor. He refused to offer any apology to the family of the victim and tried to defame his victim by describing him as "a problematic teenager"! The board of the school of Alexis reacted angrily: a declaration signed by the director of the school refutes all the accusations of the murderer cop. Also many eye-witnesses publicly refute the claims of the cop that he wasn't aiming directly at the victim. However, until now none of the eye-witnesses have been called by the judicial authorities to testify!

(c) Coordinated attacks against the Radical Left

The Coalition of Radical Left (SYRIZA), of which the Communist Organization of Greece is part, becomes more and more openly the target of various forces. Since Monday evening, a strange "alliance" of government ministers, extreme right-wing politicians, mainstream Media and the… Communist Party of Greece (KKE) are accusing openly SYRIZA that it supports the "riots" and covers the "provocateurs". More and more bourgeois Media, government ministers and even the extreme right-wing are congratulating the KKE for its "responsible attitude" and mount a coordinated attack full of menaces against SYRIZA.

On Tuesday the Central Committee of KKE issued an official statement where it repeats all these calumniating and shameless attacks against the Radical Left. An MP of KKE, Mr Ioannis Gkiokas, arrived to the point to accuse SYRIZA that it covers "common criminals" and "human traffickers"!!! As we wrote before, for one more time in critical moments and while the movement develops, the so called "communists" of KKE become the right hand of the criminal government of K. Karamanlis. Behind their super-revolutionary verbalism hides the most conservative and institutional policy that is always so much appreciated by the bourgeoisie. This is a disgrace for the whole Left. According to the last information arriving, the members of KKE's youth are going to the universities with the aim to PREVENT the holding of General Assemblies that could decide the occupation of the universities.

Following these developments, the Communist Organization of Greece was obliged to issue the following Press Statement:


Statement of the Press Office of KOE - 10 December 2008

While during the first two days the KKE leadership was a mere witness, observing uncomfortably the protest of the youth, and after it was obliged to trail behind the mobilizations, it met with the Prime-minister. After this meeting with Mr Karamanlis, Ms Papariga, General Secretary of KKE, called SYRIZA to "stop caressing the rioters". It is not necessary to underline the identification of Ms Papariga position with the similar declarations of the government's representatives.

These days for each and every militant of the Left, for the whole Left (and especially for the Communist Left), the first and most important priority is to confront the reasons that create the actual protest: the policies of marginalization, of rejection, of repression, of neoliberalism. The KKE leadership pretends that it cannot understand this priority and once more it supports the government.

We reply to the sordid and shameless scenarios advanced by KKE about a "conspiracy inside and outside Greece", aiming at presenting the government of K. Karamanlis as innocent and in defensive position, with our action:

We will intensify the mass movement in order to get rid of this criminal government!

Communist Organization of Greece / Kommounistiki Organosi Elladas (KOE)
International Relations Department

Email: *
Web: * In English: