Greek workers have launched a general strike against the austerity measures imposed by the government, the Teacher Solidarity website reported this week. Teachers have joined the strike by both public and private sector workers against the cuts in public services, pay and benefits cuts, and increasing taxes. Schools have been shut down, transportation has been disrupted and health services are operating with emergency crews.
The austerity measures and general strike come in the wake of a bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which occurred a year ago, but which has done nothing to relieve the country of its financial crisis. There is clearly no justification for Greek workers to continue to accept the cuts to their living standards and working conditions as it has done nothing to solve the country’s financial problems. However, their resistance has sent shockwaves through the European Union’s financial sector, as banks and finance capitalists freak out over the possibility that Greece might default on its loans, and inspire Ireland and Portugal to do the same.