With the left-wing Syriza government not backing down on its electoral mandate to tackle austerity policies, despite ongoing pressure from other European governments, progressive movements across Europe are expressing their solidarity with Greece this weekend.
In Rome, thousands of Italians marched on Saturday calling on the Eurozone to "Give Greece a Chance".
Sunday will see protests in London, Madrid and other European cities demanding "Let Greece breathe" in reference to the call from the new Syriza government for time to renegotiate the conditions of the financial bailout, initiated after the global crisis of 2007. The bailout was accompanied by strict austerity policies blamed for a dramatic collapse in economic growth and living standards.
In Germany, whose government has been accused of being the most insistent in maintaining austerity measures, dozens of leading trade unionists have signed a declaration calling Syriza’s victory “an opportunity...for a fundamental reassessment and revision of EU economic and social policy.” The trade unionists explain that “The billions of euros that have flowed into Greece have been used primarily to stabilise the financial sector. At the same time, the country has been driven into deep recession by brutal cutbacks in government spending” creating “a social and humanitarian crisis.”
They call for "serious negotiations with the new Greek government ...without any attempts at blackmail" and demand that "the rejection at the ballot box of those responsible for the previous (austerity) policy in Greece is a democratic decision that must be respected at the European level."