Synaspismos – Coalition of the left of movements and Ecology organized a meeting in Athens between members of the leadership of the European Left Party and representatives of Workers’associations in the public and private sectors. The meeting took place in the Greek Parliament and gave the opportunity to the European Left Party delegates to listen first hand to the problems facing the Greek working people.
In his opening speech Alexis Tsipras, President of Synaspismos and of the Parliamentary Group of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), noted that at this stage what is particularly targeted is the utilities companies which still belong to the state. The demand is that they be privatized the sooner possible. Tsipras stressed that the biggest scandals occurred during similar privatizations. He also repeated some of his party’s proposals for a way out of the crisis:
• Immediate aggressive restructuring of the debt and not for Greece only. A partial eradication should be applied
• Fundamental reform of the EU and its budget
• Developmental policies for the benefit of the working people
• Redistribution of wealth
• The social state should be enlarged

A number of unionists addressed the audience and there was a distinct distrust between the state companies’representatives and representatives of smaller workers’ unions. They all stressed that the Greek government is actually selling off every bit of profitable public enterprise to private companies thus endangering and enslaving the future of the country. The representative of the water and sewerage company of Thessaloniki caused quite a stir when he proposed that the people of Thessaloniki could buy this company themselves if they contributed 46 Euros per head!! One can imagine what a bargain this company is for the French corporations who are trying to buy it off.

“The meeting of the “enraged” with the workers’movement will bring new developments”, stressed Mr. Harissis who represented the municipality workers Union. Mr.Harissis was one of the most badly beaten protesters during the two day strike of 28-29 June and he spoke with his head still in bandages.

Among the speakers were also Mr. Papaspyrou, President of ADEDY-Confederation of workers in the public sector, Mr. Fotopoulos, Chairman of the Electricity public company, Mr. Orfanos, President of the Federation of the people working in the Greek Petrol industry (comprises refineries, but also natural gas etc), Mr. Karmalakis represented the leadership of the Federation of Medical visitors, Mr. Konstantakopoulos spoke on behalf of the University Professors association while the teachers’association and the “Aspro Fos” company also addressed the audience.

A common theme in all speeches was the need for the European Working peoples movement to coordinate its actions and change the European Union policies to the benefit of its peoples and not to the benefit of the bankers and other financial systems. This sentiment was echoed in the brief greeting addressed to the audience by Mr. L.Fabien, President of the European Left party and Maite Mola, one of the vice Presidents.

The European Left will hold an Assembly in Trevi, Italy to formulate its all European proposals and coordinate its actions.