KKE leader: Gov't intends to raise retirement age, taxes

Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga on Wednesday accused the government of planning to raise the retirement age to 67 for all classes of employees, as well as further tax hikes and further erosion of worker rights through company contracts.

Referring to the debt crisis and the Competitiveness Pact proposed in the European Union, Papariga stressed that workers should forget the first since they owed nothing and noted that negotiations between European governments did not aim to defend labour entitlements but were, conversely, an agreement to attack the working class.

She stressed the need for organised struggle but underlined that events like the violence in December 2008 were not a 'landmark' for KKE and expressed fears of deliberate provocation in order to implicate the workers' struggle, pointing out that participation in protests had fallen after three people were killed in the 'Marfin' bank fire set during an otherwise peaceful rally last year.

She also criticised the government's stance towards people who were refusing to pay road tolls or public transport tickets as a form of protest against fare increases, noting that the government had itself initiated an cessation of payments to people by cutting back on unemployment benefits, increasing hospital fees and reducing state funding etc.

Commenting on agreements to extend repayment of Greece's loans to the EU and IMF, Papariga said the government would try to present this as a negotiating success but in reality the cost of servicing the debt would be passed on to working people that were not responsible for it.



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