Monthly Archives: July 2012

“You can’t? We can!” Workers at Mining Industry factory in

Northern Greece vote for and prepare for self-management of

their factory – victory to the workers!

See original article from Occupied London

Concerning the struggle at VIOMIHANIKI METALLEYTIKI (Mining Industry) in Thessaloniki

The administration of VIOMIHANIKI METALLEYTIKI, a subsidiary of Filkeram-Johnson, has abandoned the factory since May 2011, along with its workers. In response, the workers of the factory abstain from work (epishesi ergasias: the legal right of workers to abstain from work should their employer delay their payment) since September 2011. The Workers Union at Viomihaniki Metalleutiki has organised 40 workers all of which are, to date (one year after the closure of the factory) active, taking shifts at the factory to ensure that no equipment is removed by the administration or stolen. All the workers also participate in the General Assemblies.

The proposal of the Union in order to escape this dead end – as the Administration has stated the factory will not reopen, due to the lack of funds – is for the factory to go into workers control, a proposal voted by 98% of the workers at the General Assembly. More specifically they ask for the factory to be passed on to the workers and for all the members of the Administration and workers sitting in the administrative council to resign, with no claims from the future workers’ self-management of the factory.

In regard to the initial capital, which is necessary for the operation of the factory, the proposal of the workers is for the Greek Manpower Employment Organization (OAED) to pay them in advance the sums they are already entitled to after becoming redundant.

Finally, the workers at Viomihaniki Metalleutiki demand the introduction of legal status for co-operative enterprises, in order for their own and for future initiatives to be legally covered.

In the struggle of the workers of Viomihaniki Metalleutiki, apart from the self-evident value that we see in every workers’ struggle and every workers’ demand, we also recognise an additional value, which comprises exactly of this proposal of self-management. We believe that the occupation and the re-operation of factories and corporations by their workers is the only realistic alternative proposal in face of the ever-increasing exploitation of the working class. The self-organisation of factories that close down is the only proposal that has the force to mobilise the working class – which, living under the constant threat of unemployment, cannot see ways in which it can resist.

We know that the difficulties we shall face in the struggle for the self-management of the factory are many, since state and capital will fiercely stand against it – as a possible victory shall create a precedent and and example for any other struggle in the country. Yet the question of whose hands the production lies in becomes a question of life and death for a working class pushed into degradation. For this reason, the workers’ struggles orientated in this direction and the forces standing in solidarity to these struggles should be prepared to clash with state and the administration in order to materialise the occupation of the means of production and the workers’ self-management.

We call for every union, organisation and worker to stand in solidarity to the struggle of the workers of VIOMIHANIKI METALLEYTIKI and to actively support the workers both financially and politically.

Wednesday 11/7/2012,
6pm at the Labour Centre of Thessaloniki.

Movement for Workers’ Emancipation and Self-Organisation


Financing development or developing finance?

This briefing is based on a longer report published by The Corner House, which will available on their website,  The original article can be found at the Bretton Woods Project.  

For its relevance to the eurozone, read about the 2020 Project Bond Initiative

A forthcoming report on private equity infrastructure funds by Nicholas Hildyard of NGO The Corner House, More than bricks and mortar, looks at the connections between infrastructure funding and international financial markets, and at the wider political project that infrastructure embodies. In this briefing, Hildyard argues that the transformation of infrastructure into an asset class has environmental and social implications far beyond what can be handled by stronger safeguards on investments.

When the World Bank focussed its 1994 World Development Report on infrastructure, it should not have come as a surprise that the report was not in fact about bridges and dams, but about privatisation and reducing the role of the state in development.

Until the 1990s, the vast majority of infrastructure projects in the developing world, from drinking water systems to power stations, were funded by national governments, with substantial project-specific loans from multilateral development banks (MDBs), such as the World Bank. The role of the private sector in financing infrastructure was minimal, but the last two decades have seen it increase substantially. From 2002 to 2007, the value of infrastructure projects in developing countries with private sector participation amounted to $603 billion. Private investment far outstripped the $64.6 billion loaned to developing countries for infrastructure projects over the same period by China (the biggest source of bilateral concessional development finance).

Infrastructure is now firmly back on the international policy agenda, with MDBs and the G20 all announcing support for major infrastructure initiatives. In Sub-Saharan Africa, long portrayed as a region shunned by private investors, private sector financing for water supply and sanitation exceeds that provided by rich countries in development assistance and by emerging country financiers, such as China. “Overall”, notes the World Bank, “private finance to African infrastructure [has come] from nowhere to provide a flow of funds comparable in magnitude to traditional [aid].”

Pot of gold for the private sector

Governments argue that the sheer size of the ‘infrastructure gap’, coupled with the lack of government funds due to huge costs of propping up the banks in the wake of the financial crisis, means that they have no choice but to bring the private sector into infrastructure development. However, considerable untapped pools of public money exist in many developing countries, notably in public pension funds for state employees, which could be used for public sector investment in infrastructure. Governments could also restore their depleted coffers by abandoning low tax regimes or clamping down on tax evasion and capital flight. Such policies, though, would mean dismantling the political and economic alliances that underpin the current relationship between the dominant elements of the state and private sectors, a relationship in which state power is used not to restrain accumulation but to enable it, be it through privatisation, intervention, regulation or, indeed, deregulation.

The policy choice is not between the private sector, on the one hand, and the state, on the other. There is a new state-private combo, in which a realigned state is the lynchpin in creating new highly profitable investment opportunities through selling off state-owned enterprises at knock-down prices. Unsurprisingly, the infrastructure policies now being pushed by the MDBs are aimed at maintaining the current state-private combo rather than restructuring it. To attract infrastructure investors, the Indian government (like many other governments) is rolling back hard-won environmental and social regulations, particularly those protecting poorer people against forced evictions. It also set up a high-level committee (including investment bank Goldman Sachs’ India director) to identify “regulatory or legal impediments constraining private investment in infrastructure” and to “issue specific recommendations for their removal”. Other incentives now being offered by the Indian government include tax breaks and an $11 billion fund to provide debt finance through tax-free infrastructure bonds. Legislation is also being introduced in many countries to encourage public pension funds (which could be a major source of public finance for infrastructure) to invest in privately-funded infrastructure, for the profit of the private sector. Private investors in the North, particularly private equity firms, are leaping onto the bandwagon, increasingly looking to infrastructure investments in the South as a new source of profits.

The ‘reforms’ being pushed through to further increase private sector involvement in infrastructure development both respond to, and are shaping, changes in the way that infrastructure is financed and the demands of new actors in the sector. In particular, they are part of a wider effort by both state and private sector actors to transform infrastructure into an asset class.

Historically, private investors were reluctant to make direct equity investments in specific infrastructure projects. With the sector set to boom, investors are now keen not to lose out on possible profits. The solution, engineered by investment banks, has been to create ‘infrastructure funds’ – pooled vehicles through which investors can invest in companies within the infrastructure sector without having to directly finance the projects that the companies are building, thus reducing the risks inherent in the sector. In 2011, an estimated 50 new dedicated infrastructure funds were ‘on the road’, reportedly seeking to raise $26.8 billion for ’emerging market’ investments, a sum which, if achieved, would put private equity on a par with the World Bank Group ($21 billion a year) as a source of infrastructure finance for developing countries.

Private sector investors in infrastructure funds include rich individuals and pension funds. Public sources, particularly funds from public development finance institutions (DFIs), such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC, the World Bank’s private sector arm), are also involved. Of the 350 private equity infrastructure funds analysed by The Corner House, 125 have reported investments by one or more such publicly funded DFIs. Overall, the contribution of such public agencies to private equity infrastructure funds is reportedly some 4 per cent of capital raised.

Such investments reflect the growing use by DFIs of ‘intermediaries’ (primarily banks, but also private equity firms) to invest in the private sector, with the intermediaries, as opposed to the DFI, deciding where the money is ultimately invested. Although the IFC argues that this strategy encourages the private sector to take on riskier investments than it might otherwise do, the record suggests otherwise. Far from breaking new ground, the private equity funds in which the development agencies have invested are heavily focused on countries such as India, China, Brazil, Nigeria and South Africa, which already have considerable private capital available for investment, both from international and domestic sources. Indeed, the huge sums that private equity firms are now pouring into infrastructure suggests that such funds need no encouragement from DFIs to invest: the profits to be made are sufficient incentive.

Environmental/social implications

All infrastructure projects – whether state-financed or private sector-financed – have social and environmental repercussions. One response to the rise of infrastructure as an asset class has therefore been to treat private sector infrastructure investment like publicly-financed projects and to press for better application of international standards. Certainly, there is considerable scope for enhancing private equity standards, most of which currently have no environmental or social standards at all. Private equity funds which enjoy DFI support should be required to adhere to the environmental and social standards that DFIs apply to their non-intermediated finance. Even if this was done, it would leave unchallenged a range of adverse social and economic impacts that are intrinsic to the redefinition of infrastructure as an asset class.

Worryingly, the sectors that are benefiting most from private equity fund investments would appear to be fossil fuel extractors and burners – a profit-driven investment pattern that is locking society into a development path that makes transition towards a low carbon future more difficult. In India, Adhunik Power and Natural Resources is relying on private equity funds to part-finance its plans to dig new coal mines and build new coal-fired power plants producing 3,480 megawatts of electricity before 2015. The company has already secured investments from two funds, including the IFC-backed SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund.

Concern has also been expressed by NGOs that DFIs are deliberately using intermediaries to circumvent their environmental and social safeguard policies. With rare exceptions, DFI-backed private equity funds are often left to apply their own standards – or standards they have agreed with their DFI backers – and to monitor and self-certify their implementation.

When approached as an asset class, infrastructure has political and economic consequences that go far beyond the immediate social and environmental impacts of the projects that are funded. In particular, many of the new investment vehicles – notably private equity funds – are seeking turbo-charged profits (typically, returns of 30 per cent a year) whose pursuit is leading to the increased financialisation of the infrastructure sector – from manufacturers of equipment through to project developers – with profound implications for what infrastructure is funded and who gets to benefit from it. Moreover, many of the strategies that civil society have developed to hold infrastructure developers to account and to ensure positive development outcomes from specific infrastructure developments – including lobbying for ‘safeguards’ and ‘standards’ – are not keeping up with the swiftly-developing new realities.

The compatibility of investing via such turbo-charged profit-driven investment vehicles as private equity funds, with the stated poverty alleviation mandate of most DFIs, has also been questioned. Taking refuge in the widely discredited ‘trickle down’ theory of development, most DFIs generally judge the success or failure of investments primarily on the basis of their profitability, the assumption being that what is good for investors must be good for poorer people. Even fund managers, however, balk at making such outlandish claims.

Private equity funds do not invest in projects in order to provide public goods, but to generate above-market returns on investment. Entirely absent from the portfolios of all but a few philanthropically-financed infrastructure funds are projects that respond to the demands of poorer people. There is investment, for example, in privatised water utilities servicing those with the money to buy water, but no investment in rainwater harvesting that, once installed, provides water for free. If poorer people feature at all in the discussions of investors and developers, it is almost exclusively as labourers or obstacles to be removed. Many poorer people are priced out of access to essential public goods.

Tellingly, an IFC review of its private equity portfolio has concluded that any correlation between high profits and wider positive development outcomes was relatively weak, and that the most pronounced impact of private equity investments was in “improvements in private sector development”, such as encouraging changes in the law favourable to the private sector. In effect, what is good for private equity is good for private equity – but not necessarily for the wider public.

More than bricks and mortar

But, perhaps most fundamental of all, private equity infrastructure finance is about more than building bricks and mortar. It is part of a wider construction project, as yet far from complete, whose purpose is to enshrine markets, rather than democratically-accountable decision-making processes, as the means through which infrastructure is not only financed but its disposition decided. Now infrastructure embodies more than an agenda of privatisation: what is being constructed are the subsidies, fiscal incentives, capital markets, regulatory regimes and other support systems necessary to transform infrastructure into an asset class that yields above average profits.

A 2008 policy paper by Goldman Sachs, modestly entitled Building the World, identifies “adaptation of … regulatory systems” and a “move towards market pricing” as major priorities if the private sector is to be encouraged to participate in infrastructure development. Critically, private sector financing is seen as a driver of both financial innovation and the building of capital markets, stimulating the dismantling of “current onerous restrictions on investments” and the opening up of developing country economies to foreign banks. It also demands that “governmental interference” be kept “at a minimum”, whilst, on the other hand, it envisages its entire political project being underwritten by the continuation (and extension) of a raft of state subsidies in the form of “public/private partnerships, government credit guarantees, and coinvestment by governments”. The task for the private sector, thus, becomes one of persuading decision makers that it is in the public interest for the state to continue facilitating a massive transfer of wealth from the public to the private sector.

The problem of too much capital chasing too few investment opportunities has deepened, contributing to global financial crises. The planned interventions by the G20 and MDBs in the infrastructure sector are better viewed as a response to this problem, which will further entrench the current state-private settlement, geared to harnessing the state to extracting profit for the private sector. As such, infrastructure is less about financing development (which is at best a sideshow) and more about developing finance.

Based on a longer, fully-referenced report, More than bricks and mortar, available this month at

Published: 3 July 2012 , last edited: 3 July 2012

Eurozone meltdown: IMF providing “political cover”

See original at the Bretton Woods Project

As European elections show the public increasingly rejecting austerity, critics call on the IMF to focus on the flaws of the eurozone rather than austerity in country programmes.

Throughout the past months the prolonged recession in parts of Europe saw unemployment reach record highs and output stall, with concerns that austerity is hindering growth and the prospects to achieve fiscal and debt targets (see Update 80, 79). A March report from the Macroeconomic Policy Institute in Germany expects economic activity to decline this year by 1.3 per cent in Ireland, 4.3 per cent in Portugal and 6.7 per cent in Greece, with unemployment reaching 14.1 per cent in Portugal and Ireland, and 20.1 per cent in Greece. The report concludes that because of “simultaneous austerity policies … the main cause of the euro crisis will thus not be overcome but aggravated”.

In this context the austerity policies demanded by the troika (European Union, European Central Bank and IMF) have been rejected by a growing share of voters in the Greek and French elections, criticised by government leaders throughout the world, including US president Barak Obama and Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, and even seen increasing opposition from participants in capital markets, who have started to call for a new strategy to deal with the crisis. In early May Charles Dallara, the head of the Institute for International Finance, a global association of private financial institutions, explained that “the focus has been too heavily placed in short-term budget cuts and this has created the feeling that the situation seems bottomless.”

Beware of IMF’s ‘sympathy’

Despite criticisms and poor outcomes, the IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard argued in the latest IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO), published in April, that “the right strategy remains the same as before”, meaning that spending cuts should neither be too fast, which would hurt growth, nor too slow, which could hurt credibility (see Update 78, 77). Christine Lagarde, the IMF managing director, also reaffirmed the existing strategy of the Fund by praising the internal devaluation in Latvia. Lagarde argued “it’s important for other crisis-ridden countries to learn from Latvia. The programme there was a success.”

Mark Weisbrot, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), criticised Lagarde’s “perverse praise” of “Latvia’s disastrous internal devaluation”, arguing that the country “sacrific[ed] nearly a quarter of its national income at the altar of austerity” with “unemployment rising from 5.3 per cent to over 20 per cent” and another 10 per cent of the labour force leaving the country. Similarly, in a June article, Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman opposed the idea that an internal devaluation can replace the need of exchange rate adjustment, and argued that “while Latvia’s willingness to endure extreme austerity is politically impressive, its economic data don’t support any of the claims being made about its economic lessons.”

Lagarde also faced fierce criticism in May after making controversial comments on the need of the Greek population to “pay back” for their country’s mistakes, and that she felt more sympathy for “little kids from a school in a little village in Niger” than for the people of Greece. Nick Dearden from UK NGO Jubilee Debt Campaign responded that “if ‘sympathy’ is what characterises the IMF’s approach to Niger, then Greece would do better to avoid it.” He described how “in Niger, the IMF’s loans have done more harm than good as ordinary people have had to pay the price for reckless lending”, and argued that “to pretend that the IMF operated in a somehow kinder way towards Niger than it is doing in Greece stands up to no scrutiny whatever.” Meanwhile, Greek economist Alex Andreou criticised Lagarde’s idea of “Greece as one homogenous, tax-dodging mass responsible for its own downfall”. He argued that Lagarde’s “stance shows a complete misunderstanding of the psychology of a nation which has suffered nearly five years of recession and the severest of austerity cuts; a nation which is increasingly and vocally rejecting foreign interference and which is being pushed to political extremes.”

After two years of interventions in Europe, however, the Fund seems to be slowly acknowledging that growth and stability will not be achieved if flaws in the design of the euro are not addressed. The latest IMF WEO emphasised the euro “design flaws” more than previous editions, pointing to the “urgent need” for common banking supervision and risk sharing. It details that “measures should be taken to decrease the links between sovereigns and banks, from the creation of euro level deposit insurance and bank resolution to the introduction of limited forms of eurobonds, such as the creation of a common euro bill market.”

Also, a mid-June IMF staff discussion note, Fostering growth in Europe now, points at the need to tackle uneven demand between northern and southern European countries with action on both sides: “Relatively speaking, the south needs nominal wage restraint, and the north to let wages rise in line with productivity and market developments”. However, it proposes labour market deregulation policies in order to restart growth (see Update 81).

IMF’s repeated failures

Austerity and structural reforms, including privatisations of public services (see box), are expected to continue throughout Europe, and especially in Greece. It is possible, however, that a softening in the conditions attached to country programmes in Portugal and Ireland will take place.

The troika will return to Greece to renegotiate with the new government in early July, but the relaxation of the loan conditions requested by the country might be blocked by Germany and bring increasing tensions in the troika. Robert Zoellick, then president of the World Bank, warned at the June G20 summit of growing divisions between the Europeans in charge of the loans and the IMF, and predicted that, in the absence of decisive action, this division could turn into a confrontation by the end of the summer.

University of Athens professor Yanis Varoufakis predicted in late June that even looser bailout terms will prolong recession in Greece and warned that “when in December, it becomes, yet again, clear that another, more relaxed, Greek bailout has failed, that realisation will add to the strains and tensions in Europe, accelerating further the centrifugal forces tearing the eurozone apart.”

Charles Goodhart of the London School of Economics pointed out in May that “the presence of the IMF as part of the bailout programmes has given European leaders political cover for continuing to peddle ill-conceived, failing policies, delaying much-needed more sensible solutions to the crisis.” He explained that “given its historical mandate on exchange rates, the eurozone is the natural counterpart for the IMF, not euro-area member states” and argued that conditionality must apply “also to EU institutions such as the ECB [European Central Bank]” and to “northern countries like France and Germany”. He concludes that “the current asymmetric and incomplete adjustment plan for the eurozone, which focuses solely on the peripheral economies, is self-destructive.”

Meanwhile, Andy Storey, from University College Dublin and member of NGO Action from Ireland, argued that “the failure of the intervention of the IMF in Europe can be explained precisely because of the Fund’s lack of autonomy from capital markets and the mainstream European elite managing the crisis”. He said that “because of this lack of autonomy, since 2010, instead of focusing on the real problems of the eurozone, the Fund promoted unjust and counter-productive fiscal adjustment policies that are contributing to the meltdown of the monetary union. This proves once more that this institution needs radical reform.The question remains, however, who (if any) in the Fund will be held accountable for its appalling failures to date.” Storey added that the IMF’s sitting out of the late June European loan to Spain to recapitalise its banking system shows that “the Fund has lost faith in country programmes in the eurozone. It is unacceptable that the IMF continues to pour tax payer money into programmes that even it now sees as unsustainable. What is needed is a write down of public debt before it is too late.”

Privatisations threaten rights to water

A March report commissioned by the Canada-based civil society network Blue Planet Project and written by five European civil society organisations, examines the impacts of austerity measures on the human right to water in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Bulgaria. The troika programme for Greece includes the privatisation of the public stake in the water companies of Athens and Thessaloniki, while in Portugal the program includes the privatisation of the public water company Águas de Portugal. It concludes that “IMF/ECB/EU policies … are resulting in the general impoverishment of the population, with the imposing of brutal increases in water charges and taxes.” In mid May, 30 European civil society organisations, including the ones behind the report, wrote a letter to the European Commission arguing that “privatisation … directly threatens the right to water” and demanding that the commission “refrain from any further pressure to impose water privatisation conditionalities” arguing that such “pressure is flawed, undemocratic, [and] at odds with the EU treaties”.

Sonia Mitralias, founding member of the Initiative of Greek Women against the Debt and the Austerity Measures, explained in a March interview how “the destruction and the privatisation of public services imposed by the troika” are affecting women in particular: “millions of Greek women [are] taking on responsibility themselves for the social tasks for which the state was previously responsible” with consequent effects “in terms of physical and mental fatigue, of nervous tension and premature ageing.”

Related articles

In solidarity with the Greek people, against illegitimate debts and austerity measures, let us mobilize!

For joint actions for large Euro-Mediterranean’s mobilizations in autumn 2012!

  June 2012


The response to the financial and economic crisis is the same everywhere: cuts in expenditure and austerity measures under the pretext of reducing deficits and the repayment of a public debt which is the direct outcome of 20 years of neoliberal policies. Governments in the service of finance and big European capital are actually using this pretext to further reduce social spending, lower wages and pensions, privatize health care, dismantle social benefits and deregulate labour laws, increase taxes on the majority while social and tax giveaways are generalized for the big companies and the highest net worth households.

Measures of violence against the populations, similar to those tested in the Greek social laboratory for two years, are already being implemented in Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and in Eastern European countries. Latvia, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria have inaugurated the same sad litany of austerity measures, with drastic fiscal cuts (significant decrease in wages, closure of schools and hospitals, partial or total axing of social benefits, rise of VAT rates…). All the European peoples are threatened. This political orientation, which results in growing unemployment and poverty, must be radically rejected. Everywhere, companies are closing down and industrial wastelands are created, all for the greater glory of immediate gains. Everywhere, social inequalities are increasing. The public debt grows whilst many countries enter into economic recession.

Finally, while governments of technocrats are put in place by the creditors flouting universal suffrage and the most elementary democratic rules, new European treaties (ESM, European Stability Mechanism, and TSCG, Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union) are adopted to the detriment of democracy, for the benefit of financial markets and behind the people’s backs. These treaties grant immunity to senior civil servants, allow for the participation of the private sector in close collaboration with the IMF, impose a limit on deficits and give priority to the repayment of debt, no matter the consequences.

Faced with such coordinated attacks on our social gains, resistance is getting organized among Euro-Meditarrenean peoples, there are national general strikes and the ‘indignados’ movements are increasingly active. In Iceland the people refused to pay the Icesave debt to the UK and the Netherlands. In Europe as in Egypt and Tunisia, initiatives for a citizens’ audit of public debt analyze how much of the public debt is illegal, illegitimate, odious or unsustainable, and must therefore be cancelled. Paying creditors is stealing what rightfully belongs to the population and payments will continue to be the cause of college and hospital closures, pensions cuts, etc. The Greek resistance persevered for 2 years and recent election results in Greece show a strong rejection of current neoliberal policies. We here express our firm support of the refusal, by the Greek people in their ballots on 6 May 2012, to negotiate with the Troika and to apply its memorandums and the creditors’ villainous conditionalities.

However the neoliberal steamroller has not yet been stopped, and it is high time for the populations and their organizations to develop mobilization on a more significant scale.

Along with other European and international networks such as the Joint Social Conference, the International Citizen debt Audit Network (ICAN) calls for a common mobilization of all groups and trends within the social movement, without exception, including trade unions, ‘Indignados’ and ‘Occupy’ movements, women’s movements, alterglobalization associations and NGOs, political organizations, leading figures, grassroots citizens, intellectuals and artists.

Aware of the need of convergence of all mass mobilizations, we call for large Euro-Mediterranean’s mobilizations in autumn 2012, coordinating an international level of solidarity with the Greek people, against illegitimate, illegal, odious or simply unsustainable debt and austerity measures, to be organized around the traditional week of global action against debt and international financial institutions which, this year, coincides with the 25th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara.

In the same spirit, we call for the creation or reinforcement of grassroots’ committees together with local audit groups in all European countries – they would spearhead resistance against the EU’s attacks and give substance to our solidarity with the Greek people and all harassed peoples.

Together we can !

Please send your signature to :

NB: For a better coordination, the International Citizen debt Audit Network (ICAN) will provide further information in each country where it is present:

Belgium, and


France, and…

Germany, and and

Greece, and


Italy, and



United Kingdom,


Tunisia,… / and

Check out a series of video reporting from Greece by the Reelnews network, “an activist video collective, set up to publicise and share information on inspirational campaigns and struggles.”


Look at their playlist for the following short videos:

1) Our Present is Your Future: How to destroy public health services (Reel News) Over a third of hospitals to close. Exhorbitant charges. Healthworkers not being paid. But doctors are leading an astonishing fightback.

2) It’s still like being in a war zone — Immigrants in Greece (Reel News)

3)  Crisis (Reel News)  Don’t believe the lies — the Greek public debt is down to the banks and the rich. With extracts from the film “Debtocracy”.

4) That’s Our Power — Rank and File Organising (Reel News) The growth of rank and file committees, featuring the three longest all out strikes ever in Greece (steel factory, national newspaper & TV station), plus hospital occupations.

5)  Solidarity — Not Charity: Community Organising (Reel News)  Local assemblies are springing up all over Greece, organising community kitchens, clothing exchanges and other acts of practical solidarity.