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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Grèce. La solidarité en marche sur le continent

by Julia Hamlaoui

Greece. Solidarity on the march on the continent

Translated Tuesday 4 August 2015, by Adrian Jordan

In response to an appeal from the Hellenic social movement, a week of solidarity with Greece has been organised by European progressive movements. A march will take place in Paris this Saturday 20 July at 15:00, Place Stalingrad to Place de la République.

Europeans in solidarity with Greece? They exist, contrary to what some continental institutions like, and would like us to believe. And that is what many of them aim to show during a week of solidarity action starting this weekend.

It is an appeal by “a broad coalition of social organizations, unions and networks, intellectuals, artists, migrant organizations and various left, green and progressive political powers [...] active in Greece”, which is behind the plan. “The Greek people, by their mandate of the 25th of January [1], condemned the austerity policies, as well as the anti-labour laws and the privatization programmes”, they state in a document published at the end of May. Which then goes on to appeal for solidarity: “We need the support of these [social and economic] movements in order to repel these pressures and to proceed with the progressive programme of social justice.”

In Rome, Berlin, London, Athens, Brussels, Paris... their fight will echo amid demonstrations of varying natures expected in many European cities. Beginning this weekend, in France, the groups Avec les Grecs (With the Greeks) and Pour un Audit Citoyen de la Dette Publique (For a Peoples’ Audit of the Public Debt), call for people to demonstrate in the streets of Paris at 15:00 on Saturday, from Place Stalingrad to Place de la République.. “Demonstrating your solidarity with the Greek people”, explain these groups, “is in fact to affirm your will to end austerity in France, our will to change Europe.” Many other gatherings will also take place in the Hexagon, like that at the Vieux Port, Marseille, on Saturday.

Be at the side of the Greek people

Without waiting for the weekend, some fifty personalities address François Hollande in an article published in Libération on 18 juin 2015, to ask him “to be at the side of the Greek people”, Pierre Laurent, national secretary of the French Communist Party, explained on Thursday. He is behind the article, which brings together, in addition to the Left Front, leaders and parliamentarians of the PS, of Europe Ecology – The Greens and of the Citizen and Republican Movement and also campaigners and unionists... “What we demand of you, is to refuse to participate in the strategy of isolating Greece”, they explain in the appeal to the head of state, also asking him to support “sound measures taken by the Greek authorities, such as those which combat the humanitarian crisis in Greece, or which permit them finally to fight tax evasion”. And to disassociate from the “insupportable demands of the Eurogroup” and to accept the principle “of a renegotiation of the Greek debt”. A delegation of signatories will be received at the president’s residence, the Elysée Palace, on Monday night.

[1With the election of the coalition of the Radical Left and Syriza to government.

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