Kostas explained how the demands of the Troika, the European Central Bank, the IMF and the EC, had brought Greece to its knees.
In the public sector, there are wage cuts of 35%, huge cuts in pensions, youth unemployment at over 50% and small businesses are going to the wall. Basic necessities are unaffordable to most of the population.
But there is resistance and people are organising to defend the weakest in society. For example, healthworkers are organising ad hoc clinics to care for people who cannot afford medical care.
Kostas stressed the need for a united left alternative to the neo-liberal offensive, something which resonates for us in this country too. As in this country, social democracy in Greece has completely gone over to neo-liberalism. He also made it clear that Greek withdrawal from the Eurozone has to be on the basis of nationalisation of the banks and workers control of the economy, or it would be a disaster for Greek workers.
Kostas was joined on the platform by George Barratt, a councillor from Barking who has been expelled from Labour after 50 years membership because he refused to vote for cuts. George remains on the council and is organising resistance to the cuts in Barking.