Such is the nature of blogging and such is the speed of events occurring in Greece, its hard to keep pace.

But one thing is absolutely clear - the May 5 general strike in Greece was totally effective and demolished the arguments of those who attempted to marginalise the protests as not being 'representative' of the Greek people.

While the corporate media reports I saw downplayed the figures, over 300,000 marched in Athens and there were big demonstrations in other Greek cities as well.

There have been more protests outside the Greek Parliament in the last few hours, where the austerity programme was finally approved.

Prime Minister George Papandreou's self-serving talk that his government was taking 'responsible, difficult decisions to save the country, ' seems merely to have angered the Greek people even more.

As one protester said: 'This is about bailing about the bosses and the corporations. It is not about Greece.'

'This is just the beginning of a great war," warned Helene Galani, a Greek journalist who joined tens of thousands at the main march in central Athens.

Fears are now being expressed that the bailout has come too late - and that it will not stop the contagion spreading to other debt-ridden European countries including Spain, Portugal and possibly the United Kingdom. The conservative Financial Times this week accused the three main UK parties of 'not being straight about the austerity that lies ahead.'

It has also been pointed out that the Greek Government may not be able to implement the austerity measures because they will be simply sabotaged by angry public servants and other workers.

This is a Greek Government with very few friends left.

The unfolding crisis also appears to have delivered a blow to the leaderships of the GSEE and ADEDY trade unions ( the general equivalents of our CTU and PSA respectively.)

The GSEE and ADEDY top brass originally opposed the demands for a general strike, but were then dragged unwillingly into them under enormous pressure from the union rank and file.

This conservative wing of the union movement has been outflanked by PAME - a coalition of trade unionists and activists, which has accused GSEE and ADEYDY of trying to suppress the widespread resistance to the government's austerity measures.

Protesters booed the president of GSEE when he tried to speak yesterday.

The Greece working class has clearly told GSEE and ADDEY officials in no uncertain terms that it will it will not tolerate any attempts to suppress the protests.

The teachers and local government workers are now discussing escalating their strikes. There are also plans for a 48-hour general strike when the pension reform bill is discussed by parliament in the next few weeks.


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