Greeks take to the streets in large numbers against visit of Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on a two-day visit to Greece to sign an updated version of a defense cooperation agreement that activists say will bring the country further into the US coalition

October 08, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
Greece protest Pompeo
Trade unions including PAME, Communist Youth of Greece (KNE), Militant Front of Students (MAS) and the Greek Committee for International Detente and Peace (EEDYE), mobilized on Saturday against Pompeo’s visit.

On October 5, massive demonstrations were organized throughout Greece to protest the two-day visit of the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. He was in Athens to sign an updated US-Greek defense cooperation agreement with foreign minister Nikolaos Dendias.

Anti-imperialist and progressive groups in the country denounced the agreement and organized large-scale demonstrations against Pompeo’s visit. The demonstrations took place under the leadership of trade unions, including the the All Workers Militant Front (PAME), with the support of student and youth groups in the cities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Katerini, Patras and Chios, among others. 

According to reports, protesters burned flags of the US and the NATO outside the US embassy in Athens. reported that the Greek police used heavy force to disperse the protesters.

While addressing the gathering, Dimitris Koutsoumpas, general secretary of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), said, “The signing of the new agreement between Greece and the US, and in particular the maintenance and expansion of US military bases in Greece, will only lead to even greater insecurity for the Greek people and further destabilize the region, with an even greater involvement in interventions, overseas missions and imperialist wars. That’s why we have proclaimed ‘no’ to all of them today. We continue the struggle, we continue the resistance.”

Activists of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) and the Militant Front of Students (MAS) were also present during the mobilizations. Several anti-war coalitions, including the Greek Committee for International Detente and Peace (EEDYE), have also denounced the defense agreement and joined the protests.

According to reports, the main objective of the renewed US-Greek defense cooperation agreement is to adjust the MDCA, also known as the “Agreement for the bases,” according to the current US-NATO imperial designs in the region. The new initiative also calls for the up-gradation of the Souda base in Greece and its integration into the existing circuit of bases that includes those in Larissa, Stefanovikio, Magnesia, Araxos and the Alexandroupolis port.