Massive protests break out in Greece following ratification of defense pact with US

The new Greece-US Defense Cooperation Agreement seeks to upgrade and extend the US bases in Greece and is likely to further integrate the country with NATO maneuvers

February 03, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
US-Greece defense pact
Protest against ratification of the Greece-US Defense Cooperation Agreement in Athens. (Photo:

On January 30, Thursday, thousands of people marched in Athens, Greece, in protest against the ratification of the Greece-US Defense Cooperation Agreement pushed by the conservative New Democracy (ND) government in the parliament. The march was organized by the Greek Committee for International Detente and Peace (EEDYE), the Federation of Greek Women (OGE), anti-imperialist trade unions and youth and student groups. The agreement seeks to extend and upgrade US military bases in the country.

A massive rally was also taken out in the city of Thessaloniki. 

A delegation of the KKE Central Committee led by general secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas attended the rally in Athens. MPs from the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) had voted against the defense bill in the parliament. 

“We voted against the agreement because we don’t want a new Iraq, a new Afghanistan, a new Syria, a new Yugoslavia, a new Yemen, a new Palestine, a new Ukraine, a new Cyprus, new coup d’etats, new waves of refugees, new slaughterhouses,” Koutsoumbas said.

He also accused both the New Democracy and the erstwhile Syriza-led governments of being responsible for the integration of Greece into the imperialist maneuvers of NATO.

Following the ratification of the agreement by the Greek parliament, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo tweeted on Thursday expressing his gratitude towards the Greek government for enhancing the cooperation with the US. Pompeo himself had flown to Athens in October last year to sign the US-Greek Defense Cooperation agreement with Greek foreign minister Nikolaos Dendias. Progressive-anti-imperialist sections in Greece had organized massive protests against Pompeo’s visit and the signing of the agreement at the time.

The current agreement seeks to upgrade the Souda base in Greece and provides for its integration into the existing circuit of bases which include those in Alexandroupolis, Larissa, Stefanovikio, Magnesia and  Araxos.