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Kilkis, Northern Greece: Occupation and self-management of the city’s general hospital by the workers

According to a statement (4-2/2012) released by the workers’ general assembly in the General Hospital of Kilkis, the doctors, nurses and other staff declare that the long-lasting problems of the National Health System (ESY) in the country cannot be solved through limited claims of the health services sector. Thus, workers at the General Hospital respond to the regime’s acceleration of fascism by occupying this public general hospital and putting it under their direct and complete control. The decision-making body for administrative matters will be the workers’ general assembly.

They also stress that the Greek government is not acquitted of its financial obligations towards the hospital. The workers will denounce all competent authorities to the public opinion and, if their demands are not met, turn to the municipalities, the local and the wider community, for support in every possible way of their efforts: to save the hospital and defend the free public health care, to overthrow the government and every neo-liberal policy.

On February 6th the workers will serve only hospital emergencies until full payment of their wages and recovery of their income in the pre-Troika level. However, being fully aware of their social mission and moral commitments associated with their professions, they will protect people’s health that come in to the hospital, providing free care to those in need.

Next general meeting of all employees will be held in the morning of February 13th. Their assembly will take place daily and will be the main body for any decision concerning the workers and the hospitals’ operation.

The workers call for factual solidarity from people and workers in all sectors, for the involvement of trade unions and progressive organizations, and for support by media of real information. They will also give a related press conference on February 15th, at 12.30. Among others, they invite their colleagues at other hospitals to take appropriate decisions, as well as employees of the public and private sector to act likewise.

7 comments to Kilkis, Northern Greece: Occupation and self-management of the city’s general hospital by the workers

  • S.Errami

    Greetings from Germany, Switzerland and Austria!
    We embrace you and send you energy, love and endurance!
    Ας κατακτήσουμε ξανά μαζί αυτόν τον χώρο, ενωμένοι σε μια κοινή αντίσταση ενάντια σε αυτούς που θέλουν να αμφισβητήσουν τα θεμέλια της ζωής μας. Μια αντίσταση, την οποία εσείς στην Ελλάδα βιώνετε εδώ και καιρό, μια αντίσταση στην οποία θέλουμε να συμμετάσχουμε κι εμείς!
    Με αλληλέγγυους χαιρετισμούς από εμάς, στη Γερμανία και την Αυστρία!
    Σας αγκαλιάζουμε και σας στέλνουμε δύναμη, αγάπη και αντοχές!

    Please get in Touch to let us know what you need now, we want to support your free hospital in any way we can. You go out now risking lives every day- and we reassure you -we want to stand side by side.
    Let us know!
    In Respect and Love
    (from Bonn-Germany)

  • Matthew


    I would love to get in contact with someone on the developments of the hospital. What happened on Feb 15th with the press conference? I have so many questions and would love to speak to people engaged in this struggle. If anyone can get me in contact with workers in the hospital or knows whats going on I would be very grateful for any information.

    I can be reached at


  • Dear S. Errami and Matthew,

    Greetings from Greece and our blog. We support the workers at the Kilkis Hospital as you do. Our communication with some of them is continuous, so we have accurate and almost immediate information of what takes place there, although we do not publish everything, as we are not a newsletter.

    But for example today, we have an article with some details that might interest you. Those of you who can read greek might get a clearer picture of the war regarding the National Health System in occupied Greece and the role of certain leading figures and groups.

    The workers at Kilkis Hospital are already aware of your interest, support and love and they are grateful. I will ask Mrs. Leta Zotaki, the president of the Kilkis Hospital Doctors Union (E.N.I.K.), to reply personally to your e-mail address. I am sure she will be very glad to.

    We too, could provide some information about the situation there.

    Spra, from Diakyvernisi kai Politiki

  • huw williams

    Have you got any details of any place donations to the hospital Unions funds can be sent? We are holding a benefit night in Bristol UK and would be great to be able to send some money to those resisting.
    Unison member UK

  • huw williams

    I meant to say the benefit night is for Greek workers

  • Leta Zotaki, ENIK

    Hello all,

    Thank you so much for your interest and support.
    The occupation of our hospital in Kilkis by its workers started on Monday, February 20th, 8:30 local time.
    This occupation is not only about us, the physicians and the workers at the Kilkis Hospital. Neither is it only about the Greek National Health System, which is collapsing, indeed. We are in this fight because what is in real danger now is the human rights. And this threat is not against just a nation, or against a few countries, or a few social groups, but against the low and middle classes in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, in the whole world. Today’s Greece, is tomorrow’s picture of Portugal, Spain, Italy and the rest of the countries worldwide.

    The workers at the Kilkis Hospital and at most of the hospitals and health centers in Greece are not paid on time and some of them see their salaries being cut down to practically zero. A fellow-worker of mine was transferred to our cardiologic clinic in shock, when he realized that instead of receiving the usual check of 800 euros (yes, that is his monthly salary) from the state, he received a note saying that not only he will be paid nothing for this month, but he is also to return 170 euros! Other workers were paid only 9 (nine) euros for this month! Those of us who still receive some kind of a salary will support them in any way we can.

    This is a war against the people, against the whole community. Those who say that the public debt of Greece is the debt of the Greek people are lying. It is not the people’s debt. It was created by the governments in collaboration with the bankers in order to enslave people. The loans to Greece are not used for salaries, pensions and public care. It is exactly the opposite: salaries, pensions and care are used to pay the bankers. They are lying. Contrary to what they declare, they do not want a debt-free society. They create the debts themselves (with the help of corrupt governments and politicians) for their own benefit. They gave Greece a banker as prime minister to ensure that the “job” will be done properly. Our Prime Minister Loukas Papadimos was not elected at all. He was appointed by the ECB and the bankers with the help of European and Greek corrupt politicians. This is their interpretation of the term “democracy”!

    The debts are created by bankers who create money out of thin air and collect interest, just because our governments gave them the right to do so. And they keep saying that for those debts it is you and me and our children and grandchildren that will have to pay with our personal and national assets, with our lives. We do not owe them anything. On the contrary, they owe the people a great part of the fortunes they made thanks to the political corruption.

    If we do not open our eyes to this truth, we will soon all become slaves, working for 200 or less a month. That is those of us who will be able to find a job!
    No medical care, no pensions, homeless and starving, as now is the case with my fellow citizens in Greece. Thousands of them live outdoors and starve.

    We have no intention to paint the reality with dark colors, but this is the truth. This situation is not due to a financial or monetary accident or mistake. It is the start of the ugly phase of a long process following a carefully designed plan, a process that has started decades ago!

    We have to fight together against this neoliberal plan. And this is what we, in Kilkis and in so many cities around the world, do now.

    For the time being, we are not considering the opening of a donations account. We might, however need to do this in a few months or even weeks, if the situation worsens. What we currently need most of all is moral support and publicity. Local struggles all around the world have to spread and gain massive support if we are to win the war against the corrupt system. If you can think of any additional ways to spread our news and ideas, it would be great!

    You can contact us at the following mail address:

    Again, we can’t thank you enough for your kind thoughts and words.

    Leta Zotaki,
    Director of the radiology department, Kilkis Hospital
    Member of the workers general assembly,
    President of E.N.I.K. (Union of the Hospital Doctors in Kilkis)

  • […] Leta Zotaki, directora del departamento de radiología, Hospital de Kilkis miembro de la asamblea general de trabajadorxs presidente de E.N.I.K. (Sindicato de Médicxs del Hospital de Kilkis) […]

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