Skip to comments.Riots spread as Greek lawmakers OK austerity bill
Posted on 02/12/2012 6:04:45 PM PST by EBH
Legislation will allow country to cut debt; protesters set fire to 34 buildings; deputies expelled for opposing vote
The Greek parliament approved on Monday a deeply unpopular austerity bill to secure a second bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund and avoid a messy default.
The vote occurred after 100,000 demonstrators marched to the parliament and buildings were burned down in central Athens. Following the vote, black-masked protesters created a wall of fire with petrol bombs and set fire to cinemas, cafes, shops and banks.
Fifty police officers and at least 55 protesters were hospitalized. Forty-five suspected rioters were arrested; a further 40 were detained.
Following the vote to cut $4.35 billion which means axing one in five civil service jobs and slashing the minimum wage by more than a fifth violence spread to other Greek towns and cities, including on the holiday islands of Corfu and Crete.
"I've had it! I can't take it any more. There's no point in living in this country any more," said a man walking through his smashed and looted optician store.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
GREECE’S coalition government has expelled 43 deputies from its ranks in parliament, over dissent in a crucial debt vote.
The Socialists and conservatives expelled 22 and 21 lawmakers, respectively, from their parliamentary groups early on , reducing their majority in the 300-seat parliament from 236 to 193.
The vote is considered crucial for Greece to secure multibillion rescue packages and avoid bankruptcy next month.
A third coalition partner, the rightist LAOS party, effectively withdrew from the government on Friday after its leader publicly opposed the deal.
Actually the government appears to be falling apart. It just has not hit the major press wires yet.
The two Greek parties supporting the government of technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papademos expelled more than 40 deputies on Monday for failing to back an austerity bill needed to avoid the countrys chaotic default.
The conservative New Democracy party said it had expelled 21 out of its total 83 deputies. The Socialist PASOK party expelled about 20 of its 153 lawmakers.
Historic cinemas, cafes, shops and banks went up in flames in central Athens on Sunday as black-masked protesters fought Greek police outside parliament, while inside lawmakers looked set to defy the public rage by endorsing a new EU/IMF austerity deal.
Clashes erupted across the city center after more than 100,000 protesters marched to parliament to rally against drastic austerity cuts that will force firings in the civil service and slash the minimum wage.
Riot police fired dozens of tear gas volleys to clear the streets around parliament of rioting youths, who attacked them with firebombs, fireworks and chunks of marble smashed off the fronts of luxury hotels, banks and department stores.
Authorities said several protesters and police were injured, while an unspecified number of suspected rioters were detained.
Government vice-president and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos warned on Saturday that Greece is worn out and desperate, and is in danger of making a huge mistake, addressing the PASOK partys parliamentary group.
He underlined that the real dilemma regarding the new bailout plan, which emanates from the Oct. 26 EU summit agreements, is the sacrifices foreseen (in the plan), as opposed to even more sacrifices, national humiliation, cutbacks and squalor. amna
He ruled out so-called alternative solutions of unruly and structured default, saying that in both cases this would be translated into more conditions, ones taken at gunpoint.
Venizelos said an unruly default would bring Greece to the verge of civil war, followed by the the glorious Greece of the drachma, where those who have exported their money abroad will come back to buy the country under colonial terms.
In his address to Parliaments economic committee later in the afternoon, which convened to discuss the new bailout plan, he added:
If we dont approve the measures we will be led to an unruly bankruptcy, which means total dissolution of the economic, social and institutional web of the country.
‘which means total dissolution of the economic, social and institutional web of the country.
“No more vote-buying handouts, no more retiring at 50, and no more career for us politicians.”
This Turkish writer had a good handle on Greece almost 2 years ago.
Coming to America and the rest of the world VERY SOON.
And become a target for the mob?
Ohio population.....11,485,910 in 2008
Greece Population...10,787,690 in 2008
Who'd have guessed such a insignificant small nations people could demand the entire European Nations to bend their knees to another bailout when they all know fully well Greece has been spending way over it's means for years and years and even now continues to do so....amazing really.
Good article kalee...thanks for the link.
They are so screwed - and most of us don't give a damn about them anymore... Reckless spending, riots, temper tantrums... We're voting Greece OFF the island... bye-bye losers.
I would expect my dumb-ass buddies (the ones behind him not moving to put out the flames) to cover me while I set that little issue of BEING ON FIRE correct.
If you are in the soup, you have to prioritize. Not being on fire is right up there at the top.
Coming soon to your TV: “My Big Fat california Debt Riots!”
Think Greece is bad, just wait until California runs out of money to pay for it’s vote-buying handouts.
Well the Erocrates are on them so many will cut and run rather than get caught with their hand in the cookie jar. It's each man for himself in many respects. Rather like when our elections look like the other party might win there's a jumping overboard which is sure to take place beforehand.
These guys are going to take the money and run!
I have friends with a business on the Calif. coast, they're looking at Colorado to re-locate the entire business there.
Yea, that’s my assessment as well. The current government is socialist, and they have no effective ideals for cutting spending. It’s like asking a pig to fly... the pig looks at you and says “WTF? Really?”
The problem for Greece is that they have no other political culture except “left” and “further left.” There is no notion of “make your own money.” There’s only leeches and those who have money or property and are dodging taxation because they’re tired of being taxed blind to support deadbeats.
Their economy is swirling the drain right now. They’ve passed well beyond the point where they can earn their way out of their sovereign debt obligations.
Well, that’s the issue I see: The guys who are on fire aren’t being shielded by their buddies.
In that case, I’d be trying to get to somewhere where I can deal with the fire, and that’s why I think you see these guys who are on fire moving whilst standing.
What is needed now in these situations is either a crew-served weapon to utterly intimidate the crowd or a sniper to take out the anarchists who are whipping up the crowd into a frenzy of looting and destruction. Either the government can go for “shock and awe” and slaughter so many people that there will be no more riots (and I think a gunship with a mini-gun or two passing over the crowd would do this pretty well), or the government gets rid of the clowns with the black hoodies and masks (which I think should be the order of the day - these anarchist clowns have been allowed to grow too numerous all over the western world for the last 10 years now).
The government is quickly losing any semblance of control in this, and soon there will be no point in being a cop on the street, trying to control the riots. At that point, governments typically go to full martial law and bring in troops with armor.
And that would be bad, and would signal the complete end of Greece. No one other than the wild adventure junkies would bother going to Greece for a holiday while the nation is under martial law.
Wellllll..... to be complete in our information, we have to realize that there’s two sides to the ability of Greece to demand bailouts.
On the one side (the most public one) are the Greeks, with their outlandish deficit spending and the criminal lengths to which their political leadership went to hide this debt - by use of SIV’s from Goldman Sachs.
On the other side is France and the French bureaucrats, who have this idiotic ideal of a “united states of Europe” to challenge the US on economic and world affairs. It is the French who insisted that Germany pay up to bail out Greece (mostly because French banks are so absurdly exposed to Greek paper), and it is the French who are peddling the “Euro ideal” harder than anyone. The Germans were mostly drug into this charlie-foxtrot by the French and their own bankers. The common man in Germany has been more than willing to throw Greece out of the Euro/EU from the get-go. Matter of fact, many German financial people were against allowing Greece into the Euro in the first place...
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