Workers at Eleftherotypia, Greece’s second largest newspaper have taken over their workplace and begun producing their own newspaper to report on the movement against austerity, explains Moissis Litsis Eleftherotypia newspaper workers’ committee and Athens Journalists’ Union executive memberWe have been on strike since 22 December, and we haven’t been paid since last August. That is not unusual. Many industries leave workers unpaid. The law here is that companies near bankruptcy can stop paying workers the money they owe them.
Eleftherotypia is the second largest newspaper in Greece, and it has a radical reputation. But now its workers have launched our own newspaper, called The Workers in Eleftherotypia.
The first issue sold 31,000 copies across Greece. It had a 40,000 print run. Some 19,000 copies were sold in Athens alone—an increase on the original paper’s circulation.
The front page led with reports on the latest huge demonstration against austerity. But it also carried other news, such as a football match report. We also had a page about the problems in other newspapers and the media.
This is part of a new wave of radicalism in the workers’ movement in Greece. We have seen many ups and downs in the movement, but now people know they need to go further.
Since we went on strike, people have wanted a strike paper. People called it a utopian idea, but now we will make a newspaper not just for workers here but for the whole of society. It will be produced by our 800-strong workforce.
We want to publish our ideas. But we also need to make earnings, to try to help our strike fund. We are not formally in occupation, but we have access to our offices and printers.
And the unions are giving us money to help with the printing, so we can use a different printer if we can’t use Eleftherotypia’s.
In Greece it sometimes feels like we are at war. People are without work, being fed at soup kitchens, without any security. I hope we see our strike movement continue. We need more to prevent the measures being enforced through parliament.
People are very angry. There is no section of the ordinary population left unaffected by this, in either public or private sector. Even small business owners are desperate.