On October 6, Tuesday, anti-imperialist sections in Greece organized a massive mobilization in Athens, protesting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s visit to Greece. The call for the march was given by the Hellenic Committee for International Detente and Peace (EEDYE), trade unions including the All Workers Militant Front (PAME), self-employed associations, student associations and the Federation of Greek Women (OGE). The NATO Secretary General is visiting Greece and Turkey in the backdrop of escalating tensions between the two nations over maritime and energy rights in the Eastern Mediterranean. On October 1, Jens Stoltenberg announced the creation of a Greek-Turkish military mechanism to prevent blockades, with the aim of reducing the “risk of accidents” in the region.
902.gr reported that the demonstrators marched to the Greek parliament raising slogans such as “No to NATO protection – Get out of the wolf alliance now,” “NATO means juntas and wars,” “Shut down bases and headquarters, get out of the wolf alliance now” and “Give money for health and not for NATO slaughterhouses.” The demonstrators called for Greece’s disengagement from US-NATO-EU imperialist plans and closure of NATO bases in the country so as to ensure Greek sovereignty over its territories and borders.
While addressing the gathering on Tuesday, on behalf of PAME, Efi Haliou, president of the Trade Union of Attica Employees, said that the NATO Secretary came to Greece with a plan. “When US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came to Greece, he oversaw the expansion and progress of US agreements with the Greek governments, and also the ‘normalization’ of the situation with the bourgeoisie of Turkey. NATO came to confirm and concretize the hidden and overt agreements that are being made,” he said.
EEDYE has stated that “a few days after the Greek-Turkish agreement on the ‘military de-escalation mechanism’, the war hawk visits Athens and Ankara to promote cohesion in NATO’s southeast wing, at a time when rivalries and aggression between NATO members are intensifying, while at the same time the Turkish aggression against the sovereign rights and territorial integrity of our country is escalating.”
“The argument of the government of New Democracy (ND), of SYRIZA, and of the other bourgeois parties, which try to present NATO, the USA, the EU as supposed factors of security and stability in the region, collapses in practice. On the contrary, it becomes clear that their only goal is to serve their own economic and military plans, on the backs of the people,” added EEDYE.
Earlier in October 2019, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Greece to sign an updated version of a defense cooperation agreement with Greece intended to upgrade and expand US-NATO bases in Greece. Then too, organizations such as the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) held massive protests against the enhanced US-Greece military cooperation.