Skip to comments.Athens buildings burn as lawmakers weigh austerity
Posted on 02/12/2012 12:53:20 PM PST by NormsRevenge
ATHENS (Reuters) - Historic cinemas, cafes and shops 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.
As parliament prepared to vote on a new 130 billion euro bailout to save Greece from a messy bankruptcy, a Reuters photographer saw the buildings engulfed in flames and huge plumes of smoke rose in the night sky.
The air over Syntagma Square outside parliament was thick with tear gas as riot police fought running battles with youths who smashed marble balustrades and hurled stones and petrol bombs.
Government officials warned that Greeks faced "unimaginably harsher" sacrifices if parliament rejected the package, which demands deep pay, pension and job cuts, when it votes later in the evening.
But on the streets many businesses were ablaze, including the neo-classical home to the Attikon cinema dating from 1870 and a building housing the Asty, an underground cinema used by the Gestapo during World War Two as a torture chamber.
As fighting raged for hours, protesters threw homemade bombs made from gas canisters as riot police advanced across the square on the crowds, firing tear gas and stun grenades. Loud booms from the protests could be heard inside parliament.
"Tear gas has reached the parliament chamber," said leftist lawmaker Panagiotis Lafazanis.
After days of dire warnings and threats of rebellion, parliament began debating a bill setting out 3.3 billion euros ($4.4 billion) in wage, pension and job cuts this year alone, to secure funds Greece needs to avoid bankruptcy next month.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
I took that as make = force someone to be productive.
Give someone who has been on welfare a long time a hammer, and it would probably just confuse them.
I really liked sitting around Syntagma Square. One of my favorite places. GB was my favorite place to stay in Athens. ( can not imagine what it must be like now). The fumes from the traffic was part of the charm. Hope the violence dose not destroy the Plaka and the Acropolis.
That's a new one.
“Head! Paper! Now!”
In a worst case senario, it could happen in the U.S. I’m not saying that it will and I think that most Americans wouldn’t do this, but when people panic and then form groups, they don’t act rationally.
ZeroHedge says the bailout is now E210 Billion.
I agree. Thanks for the link. I will check it out.
The Stimulus Bombshell
MyGovCost.org ^ | 1/24/12 | Craig Eyermann
FR Posted January 31, 2012 by GSWarrior
Thats really the only word we can use to describe the release of a sensitive and confidential 57 page memo, written by then soon-to-be U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers in December 2008, about what became President Obamas signature economic program in the first year of his presidency: the stimulus package.
James Pethokoukis has summarized some of the most significant aspects of the memo, which weve excerpted below, and which reveals the Obama administrations thinking behind what became an over 821 billion dollar boondoggle. The bold text represents Pethokoukis summary of that thinking, which is directly followed by a supporting quotation from Larry Summers memo:
1. The stimulus was about implementing the Obama agenda. The short-run economic imperative was to identify as many campaign promises or high priority items that would spend out quickly and be inherently temporary.... The stimulus package is a key tool for advancing clean energy goals and fulfilling a number of campaign commitments.
2. Team Obama knows these deficits are dangerous (although it has offered no long-term plan to deal with them). Closing the gap between what the campaign proposed and the estimates of the campaign offsets would require scaling back proposals by about $100 billion annually or adding new offsets totaling the same. Even this, however, would leave an average deficit over the next decade that would be worse than any post-World War II decade. This would be entirely unsustainable and could cause serious economic problems in the both the short run and the long run.
3. Obamanomics was pricier than advertised. Your campaign proposals add about $100 billion per year to the deficit largely because rescoring indicates that some of your revenue raisers do not raise as much as the campaign assumed and some of your proposals cost more than the campaign assumed.... Treasury estimates that repealing the tax cuts above $250,000 would raise about $40 billion less than the campaign assumed.... The health plan is about $10 billion more costly than the campaign estimated and the health savings are about $25 billion lower than the campaign estimated.
4. Even Washington can only spend so much money so fast. Constructing a package of this size, or even in the $500 billion range, is a major challenge. While the most effective stimulus is government investment, it is difficult to identify feasible spending projects on the scale that is needed to stabilize the macroeconomy. Moreover, there is a tension between the need to spend the money quickly and the desire to spend the money wisely. To get the package to the requisite size, and also to address other problems, we recommend combining it with substantial state fiscal relief and tax cuts for individuals and businesses.
5. Liberals can complain about the stimulus having too many tax cuts, but even Team Obama thought more spending was unrealistic.
As noted above, it is not possible to spend out much more than $225 billion in the next two years with high-priority investments and protections for the most vulnerable. This total, however, falls well short of what economists believe is needed for the economy, both in total and especially in 2009. As a result, to achieve our macroeconomic objectivesminimally the 2.5 million job goalwill require other sources of stimulus including state fiscal relief, tax cuts for individuals, or tax cuts for businesses.
6. Team Obama thought a stimulus plan of more than $1 trillion would spook financial markets and send interest rates climbing. To accomplish a more significant reduction in the output gap would require stimulus of well over $1 trillion based on purely mechanical assumptionswhich would likely not accomplish the goal because of the impact it would have on markets.
When a government holds power by distributing goodies, this is what happens when the goodies stop.
Yes, but then look at Detroit governance.
The balance has tipped. What do you think the motive was behind the failure to control the influx of Mexicans and other “Third World” peoples? THEY VOTE!!!
“We cannot allow populism to burn our country down”
Criminals are burning your country down. Something-for-nothing socialism was the virulent philosophy that spawned these criminals.
In about 9 months we can DEPOPULATE socialists and RINOS (Republicans Implementing Nuances Of Socialism) from the body politic, and we’d be well on the way of righting the ship - The United States of America.
DEFUND socialist collectives, foreign and domestic.
$top $pending. Cut, cut, cut. Wake up House.
What about making the non-productive more non-productive?
Don’t know what the new ‘deep’ pay cuts will be, but a neurologist friend in Athens has already taken a 30% pay cut.
They’ll be WAY more productive if THEY WORK for the new items you are wanting to GIVE them.
22% is in many articles so 50k US would become 39k.
Italian unions have to be watching closely. Part of the Greek austerity appears (i saw it in one other article) to be dismantling collective bargaining.