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The cuts contained in the Comprehensive Spending Review must be resisted throughout the North and Britain. The cuts will bring about mass impoverishment and unemployment which will plague communities for years.
Tear gas and police brutality against general strikes and movement of the Enraged
Deploying tear gas and threats, the Greek Pasok government passed new austerity policies during a protest 48 hour general strike and the movement of the ‘Enraged’. Tens of thousands went on to the streets of Athens on 28 June during trade union demonstrations to Syntagma Square, next to the parliament buildings. During the evening, around 50,000 attended a ‘rebellion’ concert. On Wednesday 29 June, tens of thousands came together in the centre of Athens to show their anger. The trade union confederations called for a 48 hour general strike. The support was solid. Public transport – except the metro, which was asked to transport people to the demonstrations – came to a halt and the public sector participation was overwhelming.
The planned introduction of household water charges next April looks to be in serious doubt. It seems the parties in the Executive have privately admitted to themselves that they haven’t a hope of making people pay, despite their best efforts to disguise the introduction in some form next year.
The mass opposition to the charges and the support for mass non-payment which has been built by the We Won’t Pay Campaign has not dissipated. In fact with record job losses and falling incomes, the potential for mass non-payment is now greater than ever. It is this fact which has led the Executive parties to realise if they go ahead with their plans to introduce water charges next year, they face almost certain defeat.
Despite being the most unpopular Taoiseach in the history of the state, at the head of the most unpopular government in the history of the state, Brian Cowen has been ranked as the fifth best global leader of the year by the American Newsweek magazine.
In an act of brazen stupidity worthy of the Sunday Independent, the magazine chose to honour Cowen as the “fiscal taskmaster” who took the tough decisions and tackled public spending.