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Workers, farmers and students escalate their struggle against the anti-popular policy
The past week was marked by the great struggles of the Greek youth, the poor farmers and construction workers.
In particular, a nationwide strike of construction workers took place on 31 January. The strike was very successful asmore than 90% of construction workers went on strike, paralyzing the big construction sites in the country. Construction workers demanded the compulsory implementation of the collective agreement at the sectoral level andthe signing of new labour agreementsthat include wage increases, health and safety measures on construction sites, improvement of social security rights, etc. The construction workers’ strike rally was a prelude to the nationalall-workers’ strike to be held on28 February, whichis being prepared by the class-oriented forces of the labour and trade union movement.
Meanwhile, the farmers, whohave set up dozens of roadblocks with their tractors throughout Greece, are escalating their struggle. They demand that the government replace their lost income, full compensation for damage caused by natural disasters, a reduction in production costs, tax-free fuel, and guaranteed minimum selling prices for agricultural products. The KKE welcomes the mass farmers’ protests held in Greece and across Europe —in Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Romania and Poland. These protests “prove that the common root cause of the problems is the Common Agricultural Policy and the EU’s ‘green’ transition strategy. These guidelines impose further obstacles to crop and livestock farming and cuts in subsidies for toiling farmers for the benefit of capitalists and business groups. Theyare ultimately a severe blowto small producers and not a cure, as governments and the EU provocatively claim (... ) This policy condemns farmers to sell their produce at humiliating prices, at a time when production costs in terms of fuel, electricity and supplies have skyrocketed, while their crops and livestock are exposed to disastrous floods and the damage caused by various diseases, without any substantial compensation. The fruits of the hard labour of the toling farmers and stockbreeders are stolen by the industrialists, the big traders and the big supermarket owners, who make a fortune from the soaring prices of products ‘from field to shelf’, driving the workers’-people’s households, which are hit by runawayinflation,to despair. The New Democracy government, like governments in other EU countries, is resorting to the same despicable methods: brutal repression, provocative slander about petty political motivesbehind the protests, and rehashing of old promises, which are light years away from meeting the demands of the struggling farmers. The blatant lie of all the parties of the EU one-way street that the EU of 27 national markets and the competitiveness of capital would supposedly guarantee income and prosperity for the poor farmers and the people, is now exposed. The toiling farmers have right on their side. That is why we must strengthen oursolidarity with their struggle,” stressed the statement of the KKE.
On Thursday 1 February, university and school students, together with their teachers,demonstrated once again in Athens and dozens of other cities across the country against the bill prepared by the New Democracy government, which promotes the establishment of private universities in Greece, and demanded immediate financial support for public universities. The students filled the main streets of Athens and other major cities, shouting out slogans such as “We demand degrees that matter and free studies, students are not customers”, “Education is not for sale, it is our right, won through struggle”, “Give money for education, not for NATO’s slaughterhouses”.