Workers Vanguard No. 996

17 February 2012


Greece: Defend Electric Power Unionists!

The following February 4 protest letter was sent by the Komitee für soziale Verteidigung (Committee for Social Defense), which is associated with the Spartakist Workers Party of Germany, to Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos and to his Labor and Justice ministers.

The Komitee für soziale Verteidigung strongly protests the outrageous persecution of 15 trade unionists of the Greek public power company union, GENOP-DEH, including its president, Nikos Photopoulos. The unionists had occupied the offices of the state power company DEH, to stop the company printing letters cutting off the electricity supply to thousands of families who refuse to pay the new property tax and thousands more who can no longer pay their bills. Squads of riot police violently removed the unionists, who were then charged with trespass, “obstructing the functioning of a public institution” and “obstructing the forces of order.” For their courageous action in defense of working and poor families they now face possible jail terms of up to five years.

The Greek capitalist government’s agencies of repression are carrying out the dictates of the European Union, which is dominated by German imperialism. From its formation, the purpose of the European Union was to serve the interests of the imperialist powers and their junior partners in squeezing their own working classes and attacking their unions, and more effectively dominating the weakest countries like Greece. The multiethnic working class in Germany has also seen its wages, pensions and living standards driven down by the German capitalists’ drive to rule Europe.

Class-conscious workers in Germany applaud the actions of the victimized trade unionists. The KfsV will make this case known to workers here. In solidarity with our class brothers in Greece, we demand: Drop all charges against the Greek power worker unionists!