Greece austerity vote and demonstrations - live updates

The Greek parliament is due to vote on the austerity bill. Protesters on the second day of a general strike are determined to stop the bill being passed.

Protesters set up burning barricades to block streets leading to the parliament in Athens
Protesters set up burning barricades to block streets leading to the parliament in Athens Photograph: Panagiotis Tzamaros/Reuters

12.23pm: After the vote, Philip Inman, Guardian and Observer economics correspondent, and Heather Stewart, the Observer's economics editor will be answering all your questions on what the result means.

You may be interested in the likely consequences for the Greek economy, the eurozone or for those holding Greek debt. Please post your questions in the comments section.

12.14pm: BBC Newsnight's Paul Mason, in Athens, tweets that many non-violent protesters have been caught up in the clashes.

Live blog: Twitter


This sudden attack on largely peaceful crowd bodes ill for today. Venizelos asked for mtg with them earlier

Evangelos Venizelos is the Greek finance minister.

12.11pm: Time for a quick update from my colleague Graeme Wearden on the City desk:

Graeme Wearden

The mood is much calmer in the financial markets than on the streets of Athens, where investors are still confident that the austerity bill will pass. The FTSE 100 has rallied this morning, especially after opposition MP Elsa Papadimitrou confirmed she would vote with the government. At midday the blue chip index was up 85 points at 5851.

The euro has kept gaining against the dollar at around $1.442 - as fears ease that the single currency is about to implode.

The Greek stock index is also buoyant, and up over 3% on the day now. That's a 10% gain from Monday's lows.

However, there's a long track record of "buy the rumour, sell the fact" in the Square Mile, so the rally might well burn out as soon as the verdict is actually in. Especially as the world economy has its own problems, with growth stalling across the board. Other weaker
members of the eurozone are under pressure (Spain) or already trying to implement unpopular austerity measures of their own [Ireland, Portugal].

As Josh Raymond of City Index put it in his latest trading note:

There is no end to the crisis however with a yes vote. We still need to see the implementation of the package pass through tomorrow and Greece receive the next tranche of loans, though both factors would also be expected to happen as mere formalities of today's proceedings. The markets has seen a strong bout of gains this week but there remains some severe headwinds facing the global economy such as sovereign debt spreading within the euro zone, the potential for a slowing of Chinese growth and the end of QE2 in the US. To that end, we should be mindful of the potential for sharp bouts of profit taking.

12.07pm: The Guardian has video of the build-up to the vote, including the views of ordinary Greek people.

_

12.01pm: Police appear to be firing teargas at people as they try to get away and go down to the Metro station. It looks like highly dubious tactics by police.

There are people throwing missiles but the response by the authorities seems to be pretty indiscriminate.

Greece teargas

_

11.55am: ITV's James Mates is tweeting from the heart of the clashes:

Live blog: Twitter

Us and C4N crew caught in huge cloud of teargas. Nothing to do but run. Gasmask almost useless. Burns the skin. Urgh...

Live blog: Twitter

Turns from peaceful to angry in seconds. Moderates try to stop black masked anarchists confronting police. Fail.

11.45am: A Greek opposition MP has said she will back the austerity bill as has one of the members of the ruling party who had previously said he would vote against the measures, the BBC reports.

This makes it all the more likely that the bill will be passed.

11.41am: A surge in the crowd overturned metal barriers outside the parliament, forcing back a line of riot police who responded with teargas, Reuters reports.

The protesters are now being pushed back across the road by volleys of teargas. The BBC's Jon Sopel has just had to don a gas mask.

Live blog: Twitter

11.31am: Greek journalist Matina Stevis just tweeted news of fresh clashes:

Massive teargassing and hand grenades thrown by riot police against the crowd at Syntagma sq now

Presumably they are stun/smoke grenades. You can see more on the livestream (11.17am).

11.17am: Dailymotion.com is livestreaming Syntagma Square again today:


LIVE STREAMING: Γενική Απεργία ενάντια στο... by News247

_

11.08am: Only one member of the ruling (socialist) PASOK party is likely to vote against the bill - not enough to prevent its passage given that PASOK has a five-seat majority in the 300-member legislature - socialist deputy Alexandros Athanassiadis has told the Associated Press.

Athanassiadis, many of whose constituents are employed by the Public Power Corporation which is up for privatisation, said he maintains his opposition to the bill but that he will likely be the only dissenter. He said:

I have not changed my opinion ... as things stand, I persist in my decision. I don't think (any other socialist) deputies will vote against. I will be the only one.

But the Greek news website Kathimerini.com says the vote is still on a "knife-edge" with three other socialists expressing doubts. It reports that there has been last-ditch attempt on Tuesday to win round dissenters straying from party lines.

10.54am: Alexander Marquardt, from ABC News, has posted a picture of protesters spreading Maalox, an antacid, on their faces to protect against teargas.

10.42am: The Guardian's Helena Smith in Athens writes that battle lines are being drawn ahead of the crucial vote with 8 people already hospitalised this morning:


Residents in downtown Athens woke up to the whiff of tear gas and burning rubbing bins, the former still hanging in the air after a day of pitched battles between protesters and riot police, the latter set ablaze by young Greeks bracing for a fight.

Since early this morning, protesters started pouring back into Syntagma Square, the focal point of opposition against austerity measures now seen as the symbol of everything that is wrong with Greece. Many say they will stay in the square whether or not George Papandreou's socialist government passes the bill.

"Whatever happens we will stay on and fight," says Pavlos Antonopoulos, the activist schoolteacher I spoke to yesterday who was back in the square by 8:30am after snatching a couple of hours of sleep. "We hope to amass a lot of people today even if the government has sent out a very strong order to keep Syntagma clear and us away from the parliament building. We will do everything we can to ring off parliament, to stop the vote taking place."

She said that people have been working hard to clean up the square after yesterday's clashes and the police are determined to prevent a repeat of the trouble:

Municipal employees have been working overtime to clean the square – hosing it down and in some cases painstakingly removing graffiti – but the detritus of battle is everywhere: in the shattered windows of shops and chain stores, the chipped marble facades of hotels, smashed pavements and broken entrances to metro stations. Even the trees are burned.

The police, meanwhile, appear hell-bent on keeping demonstrators away. The capital's main boulevards have been cordoned off and there have been reports of violent incidences between gangs of young Greeks and police in Pangrati, a nearby neighbourhood. By 11 am at least eight people had been rushed to hospital after being clubbed by police with one trade unionist reportedly suffering head injuries and requiring several stitches.

But ordinary Greeks are equally determined to have their voices heard.

Busloads have arrived from around the country – all heading for Syntagma Square. And they are backed by the powerful unions that have brought Greece to a standstill with a 48-hour general strike.

"Thousands of strikers have been moved by rage and exasperation with new measures that yet again hit them while those who have, those who stole from the nation's public wealth, those who have never paid taxes, drink to the health of those who are mocked," said Yiannis Panagopoulos who presides over the confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) the country's biggest labour force. "These policies are not only unfair, they lead nowhere and are ineffective. Today we are waging a huge battle and this battle will not stop until these policies are overturned."

10.36am: Protesters have clashed with police outside parliament as people opposed to the austerity bill have sought to block MPs from entering the building to vote.

One communist deputy was pelted with yoghurt as she made her way into parliament and three people were treated for minor injuries as protesters clashed with police during an attempt to bar the way into the chamber.

Greek communist party MP Liana Kanelli attacked with yoghurt Greek communist party member of parliament Liana Kanelli gets into her car after she had yogurt thrown at her by protestors Photograph: /AFP/Getty Images

_

10.31am: The markets are betting on the mid-term bill being passed by the Greek parliament.

• Japan's Nikkei closed 1.54% higher at 9797 points.

European shares rose sharply in early trading:
• Britain's FTSE 100 was 1.2% higher at 5,834.26
• Germany's DAX rose 1.3% to 7,265.34
• France's CAC-40 was up 1.1%at 3,895.66.

• Wall Street was also headed for a higher opening, with Dow Jones industrial futures gaining 0.2%to 12,169 and S&P 500 futures rising 0.3%t to 1,298.40.

10.27am: The governor of the bank of Greece, George Provopoulos, has told the Financial Times the country will be committing "suicide" if its parliament fails to back the austerity bill.

He said:

We have never really had a debate in this country about what went wrong. In Portugal the new government has come in and said that there will be a difficult two years ahead. We have not had that kind of talk here ...

For parliament to vote against this package would be a crime – the country would be voting for its suicide.

10.23am: My colleague Graeme Wearden has outlined exactly what parliament will be voting on today. It amounts to a hard-hitting package of tax rises, cuts to benefits and public spending, and privatisations.

Tax increases include

• A solidarity levy: At 1% for those earning between €12,000 (£10,800) and €20,000 a year, 2% for incomes between €20,000 and €50,000, 3% for those on €50,000 to €100,000, and 4% for those earning €100,000 or more. Lawmakers and public office holders will pay a 5% rate.

• A lower tax-free threshold: People will now pay tax on income over €8,000 a year, down from €12,000. This basic rate of tax will be set at 10%, with exemptions for those under 30, over 65, and the disabled.

• Sales tax: The VAT rate for restaurants and bars is being hiked from 13% to the new top rate of 23%. This rate already covers many products in the shops, including clothing, alcohol, electronics goods and some professional services.

Spending cuts include:

• Public sector wages: Salaries will be reduced by 15%.

• The public sector wage bill: The goal is to cut 150,000 public sector jobs, through a hiring freeze and abolition of all temporary contracts. This should cut the total bill by €2bn by 2015.

• Social benefits and pensions: The retirement age is being raised to 65. Increased means testing, and cuts to some benefits, will reduce the total amount spend on benefits by €1.09bn in 2011, then €1.28bn in 2012, €1.03bn in 2013, €1.01bn in 2014 and €700m in 2015.

10.16am: Welcome to the Guardian's coverage of the protests in Greece and the vote on the mid-term bill in parliament.

The Greek government will hope to pass its austerity bill - a precondition of additional loans from the EU and IMF - in parliament against a backdrop of massive public opposition. Despite its unpopularity the bill is expected to pass. Greece has said it has funds only until mid-July, after which it will be unable to pay salaries and pensions, or service its debts, without the next bailout instalment The vote is expected anytime from 11am BST (1pm Greek time) onwards.

Trade Unionists have vowed to stop MPs getting into parliament for the vote but security in the centre of Athens is high. There are fears of more violent crashes after at least 46 people were injured, most of them police, yesterday as rioters pelted police with chunks of marble and ripped up paving stones, and authorities responded with repeated volleys of teargas and stun grenades.

Several hundred people gathered in front of parliament early today for fresh protests.


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  • Contributor
    teaandchocolate

    29 June 2011 10:24AM

    The Greek government will hope to pass its austerity bill - a precondition of additional loans from the EU and IMF - in parliament against a backdrop of massive public opposition

    It could be war.

    They start somewhere.

  • LANDLORDX

    29 June 2011 10:32AM

    Oh all these socialists rioting in Greece

    You've had your fun, now you will have to pay for it

    What will you do when the French and Germans tire of bailing out these Mediterranean communists and start rioting demanding their money back?

  • Contributor
    teaandchocolate

    29 June 2011 10:35AM

    Oh all these socialists rioting in Greece

    For socialists, please read really angry real people who are about to suffer at the expense of some rich, heartless t*t.

    If socialism is really angry real people, then I'm a socialist.

    Hurrah!

  • whizgiggle

    29 June 2011 10:37AM

    LANDLORDX

    A thought exercise for you: If no money existed, but everyone traded exactly as they do now, which activities would be unsustainable?

  • LANDLORDX

    29 June 2011 10:39AM

    @ teaandchocolate

    I think you will find the really angry people are the Germans...French...Dutch...Austrians...Finns...who have unknowingly financed this mess in Greece and now will be punished to pay for it

    Beware - when the riots start in Berlin and Paris...

  • Odysseus

    29 June 2011 10:39AM

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs.

  • rogerkw

    29 June 2011 10:42AM

    Could someone please tell me how much of the Greek deficit is made up of debt repayments and interest payments.

    Excluding these payments how close would they be to a balanced budget.

  • giveusaclue

    29 June 2011 10:44AM

    Imagine if your neighbour spent his money on several foreign holidays a year, new cars every year and new furniture all the time, etc. Then he came to you one month and said "mate I'm broke, can you pay my mortgage for me for the next .......months"

    How would you feel?

  • wonderblog

    29 June 2011 10:46AM

    The reason they're rioting is because they don't want to be saddled with a huge debt that will do nothing to help the economy.

    The bailout may help stabilise things for a short time. But the austerity measures (massive job cuts) will cripple the economy in the short and long term meaning that any extra cash will not result in any growth. So when the money runs out again, they'll be even further in debt and have even less ability to pay it back.

    This isn't communism gone mad. It's ordinary people refusing to allow themselves to be sold down the river to a cartel of bankers and moneymen. Good for them.

    And don't think this is just a Greek issue. I've just come back from Spain where there is a growing resistance to an economic stitch-up that benefits no-one but the super rich. The Arab Spring may soon turn into a European summer.

  • giveusaclue

    29 June 2011 10:46AM

    Quote from DT:

    "Meanwhile Dr George Christodoulakis, the official in charge of raising £50bn from privatisations, was told by City financiers that investing in Greece was not attractive because of the corruption and bureaucracy. At a London conference, the official - who presented a list of ports, airports, railways, motorways and waterways up for sale - was told the risks were too high."

  • ireadnews

    29 June 2011 10:46AM

    Greece should simply default. All of this is for the banks. If Greece defaults the banks lose money. Greece has two choices, pay back this debt to the banks for the next entire century (that is estimated how long it will take) or just screw over the banks and default.

    Hell this might be our chance to finally regulate banks.

    The Inside Job

  • Rebelspirit

    29 June 2011 10:46AM

    This could be the final straw that breaks the camels back. Germany may be benefitting from weak peripheral countries at the moment, but this crisis may yet come back to haunt Berlin and Paris.

    European solidarity is a sick joke. I have never wanted to leave the so called European project more.

    No doubt when the dust settles and profits made, politicians will appear with conciliatory speeches saying 'they've learned from the crisis, and that the EU is now stronger'.

    Britain and others are right to have one foot in and one foot firmly out. The Continent can be a very cold and unforgiving place.

  • BarkingMad

    29 June 2011 10:48AM

    It's time the people of Europewho are being screwed by the financial and governmental elite put a stop to their bickering and as one rejected these odious, reprehensible moneyed swine who control a system that divides and rules whilst enslaving those beneath it to a rapidly decaying form of financial slavery.

    As long as they continue to divide and rule people by private or public sector, by nations, pensions, and the rest, there will be no change. Their attempts to misdirect the real issues, like a magician with a slight of hand, must be ignored. Those few at the top of the pile during the last few years of financial mayhem have got richer and everyone else has been screwed to the wall.

    What binds us together is far stronger and important than the strawmen that they throw up to divide us. We should stanf together with the people of Greece who work hard for little money in the face of those who have avoided paying their way and those who have let them do so.

    The Greek people should not pay for the folly of the few and neither should any other people in any other country.

  • whizgiggle

    29 June 2011 10:49AM

    Imagine if your neighbour spent his money on several foreign holidays a year, new cars every year and new furniture all the time, etc. Then he came to you one month and said "mate I'm broke, can you pay my mortgage for me for the next .......months"

    It depends. If he's buying the cars from you, you probably have something to lose by not helping.

  • giveusaclue

    29 June 2011 10:50AM

    zgiggle

    29 June 2011 10:49AM

    Imagine if your neighbour spent his money on several foreign holidays a year, new cars every year and new furniture all the time, etc. Then he came to you one month and said "mate I'm broke, can you pay my mortgage for me for the next .......months"

    It depends. If he's buying the cars from you, you probably have something to lose by not helping.

    But Do you take my point?

  • x3choc

    29 June 2011 10:52AM

    Guys, I was at Syntagma Square - what you see on your TVs - twice yesterday, and, let me tell you that what I witnessed late at night made me drop my arguments against those who called the current government a junta.

    Riot police in principle let the hooded thugs get on with smashing and burning. Yes, they did fire teargas at them, but kept a distance and made no attempt to actually isolate and stop any of them. On the contrary, small squads would jog up to quietly standing onlookers and pepperspray them without provocation. We - people of all ages, including many in their 60s - were targeted repeatedly with teargas, even though none had so much as cursed the police out loud.

    Clearly, the police's orders are to aim at the peaceful protesters, to scare them away at all cost. Much of the city centre is a no-go area, with huge police vans parked across central streets. It's a real warzone over here.

  • kickinthenads

    29 June 2011 10:53AM

    I saw a Greek protester on the news yesterday complaining that it wasn't "the people" who caused this.

    Well... it was "the people" who elected a government that didn't collect taxes properly...

    It was "the people" who elected politicians who gave the public sector early retirement and fat pensions...

    It was "the people" who fought tooth and nail against the raising of the retirement age and the reduction of those pensions...

    It was "the people" who have dragged their feet for the last couple of years, rather than accept a lowering of living standards... thus making the problem much worse...

    So it sounds like it was "the people" to me.

    But it's just human nature. No-one wants to take responsibility for their part in it. And no-one wants to pay the price.

    Instead they'll keep fighting until their creditors give up... leaving Greece a broken, isolated country that can't trade internationally.

    Steve

  • whizgiggle

    29 June 2011 10:53AM

    giveusaclue
    I can see why people would be annoyed, yes. But it's based on the dishonest media narrative that these bailouts are to go to the Greek people. It's the Greek government and various banks and investors that are being bailed out.

    the Germans (or French, British, etc) should not direct their ire at the Greek people.

  • lierbag

    29 June 2011 10:54AM

    Part of the problem, is that the Greek people feel their country has been wrecked by the actions of a cabal of politicians and business people, but that no one has been held personally accountable - whereas they now have to suffer the appalling consequences in real terms (does that scenario sound at all familiar?). Our own country has dined out for years on recollections of our bravery in standing with our backs to the wall, protecting our national assets against a foreign invasion force wanting to strip us of our birthright. The protesters in Syntagma square are no doubt inspired by the same patriotic fervour. If it were a choice here between fighting to keep the public assets and infrastructure secured by the sacrifices and industry of previous generations, or meekly handing them over to a foreign bank, I think I'd choose to fight too.

  • giveusaclue

    29 June 2011 10:54AM

    rkingMad

    29 June 2011 10:48AM

    It's time the people of Europewho are being screwed by the financial and governmental elite put a stop to their bickering and as one rejected these odious, reprehensible moneyed swine who control a system that divides and rules whilst enslaving those beneath it to a rapidly decaying form of financial slavery.

    As long as they continue to divide and rule people by private or public sector, by nations, pensions, and the rest, there will be no change. Their attempts to misdirect the real issues, like a magician with a slight of hand, must be ignored. Those few at the top of the pile during the last few years of financial mayhem have got richer and everyone else has been screwed to the wall.

    What binds us together is far stronger and important than the strawmen that they throw up to divide us. We should stanf together with the people of Greece who work hard for little money in the face of those who have avoided paying their way and those who have let them do so.

    The Greek people should not pay for the folly of the few and neither should any other people in any other country.

    Ain't theory wondeful?

  • MarcoLondon

    29 June 2011 10:55AM

    1) the day greek people will start work and stop rioting the streets..... the day they ll come out from this mess...

    2) A default from Greece will also reduce your pension pot

  • JeffoY

    29 June 2011 10:55AM

    Imagine if your neighbour spent his money on several foreign holidays a year, new cars every year and new furniture all the time, etc. Then he came to you one month and said "mate I'm broke, can you pay my mortgage for me for the next .......months"

    How would you feel?

    I'd feel bad if he blamed his kids and wife for the debt, told them they had to pay for the debt they knew nothing about, jumped in the sports car and drove to switzerland to face no consequences. In this analogy anyway...

  • gpap

    29 June 2011 10:55AM

    "Could someone please tell me how much of the Greek deficit is made up of debt repayments and interest payments."

    We run a 25bn deficit, 15bn of which is for interest on debt. So, the primary deficit we run is 10bn euros.

  • happytolive

    29 June 2011 10:56AM

    The true owner of wealth and power is awakening, the united people cannot be pushed back, we know well if we don’t speak out and raise our voices we will be hit even harder. As the veteran historian Howard Zinn has said “You can't be neutral on a moving train”. Our silence is feeding their strength and our denial keeps them in power. We therefore have only one option and that is to say yes to the protests and strikes and say yes to the resistance.

  • ystar

    29 June 2011 10:58AM

    Remember what happened after WW1 when Germany was asked to cough up internationally agreed reparations? German worthies solomnly bleated about necessary auterities and they dumped their people in the shit.

    The hatred of the populace against the bankers was diverted away from the money men against the Jews and the whole of Europe went up in smoke. This time the bankers have no-one to hide behind.

  • gpap

    29 June 2011 10:58AM

    As a Greek, I feel obliged to point out that the anarchists causing all this trouble are by no means representative of the general population. The far left in Greece is strong for historical reasons - civil war, persecutions, resistance against the dictatorship etc.

    Most people protest peacefully, and they protest not because they don't understand the need for austerity. They protest because they can see that the government has no intention of cracking down on tax evasion, instead preferring to make poor employees and pensioners pay all the cost for this mess.

    These points are often missed by the media...

  • iamnotwise

    29 June 2011 10:58AM

    giveusaclue

    29 June 2011 10:44AM

    Imagine if your neighbour spent his money on several foreign holidays a year, new cars every year and new furniture all the time, etc. Then he came to you one month and said "mate I'm broke, can you pay my mortgage for me for the next .......months"

    How would you feel?

    I feel you would be more at home on the Mail or Express website where this kind of mindless rhetoric will blend in nicely. In fact you might even get offered a job writing for the Express.

  • giveusaclue

    29 June 2011 10:59AM

    onderblog

    29 June 2011 10:46AM

    The reason they're rioting is because they don't want to be saddled with a huge debt that will do nothing to help the economy.

    Thought they alreay had one?

  • happytolive

    29 June 2011 10:59AM

    The people have been witnessing the major growing injustice imposed by the rich under different pretexts, “tackling the deficit”, “helping growth”, “increasing productivity and competitiveness”, “sorting out the mess” all of which are based on the biggest single lie that history can remember, i.e. blaming us for their unsustainable spending. We have never lived beyond our means; on the contrary we have been getting poorer since any time in the near past. The blame is on those who have piled up their wealth through unearned money, on those who have never bothered to think they don’t deserve to be in that position. Blame is on capitalism.

  • snix

    29 June 2011 11:00AM

    @giveusaclue
    Imagine if your neighbour spent his money on several foreign holidays a year, new cars every year and new furniture all the time, etc. Then he came to you one month and said "mate I'm broke, can you pay my mortgage for me for the next .......months"

    How would you feel?

    Imagine if your neighbours bank and landlord spent his money on several foreign holidays a year,new cars,yachts and objects d'art.Then he went bust turfed your neighbours family out of his house on the street to live in poverty,came round to yours one month and said"mate i,m broke my tenant isn't paying me any rent so i,m collect my rent from you now,I sold the house next door in a fire sale so i am doubling your rent.
    How would you feel ?
    Corrected it for you

  • YouBloominLefties

    29 June 2011 11:01AM

    whizgiggle
    29 June 2011 10:49AM
    It depends. If he's buying the cars from you, you probably have something to lose by not helping.

    Yeah but you wouldn't want to keep selling him cars if you had to lend him the money to do so and he never actually paid you back.

  • Antigones

    29 June 2011 11:01AM

    "The Greek state has a 16-percent stake left in OTE, the largest shareholder being German telecommunications firm Deutsche Telekom.

    Other assets up for sale include Hellenic Postbank - one of Greece's major lenders - the Thessalonki water company, gas company DEPA and the train operator Trainose. The exact contents of the list for privatization have yet to be finalized with the Greek Finance Ministry.

    In 2012 and 2013, the government is also set to sell off interests in airports, weapons contractor OPAP, as well as regional ports and highways.

    Greece has been urged to press ahead with a 50-billion-euro program of privatization as part of the conditions to smooth the way for a loan instalment of 12 billion euros".

    This could be why the Market operators are slavering over the carcass of Greece.

    How much for the Parthenon?

  • mishi

    29 June 2011 11:01AM

    The bailout money isn't going to Greece; it's going to the banks. Again.
    This is a fire-sale of public assets. Again.
    No wonder the public won't take it any more. There is nothing legitimate about this debt.

    Where is the sacred text that says this is the only way to run the world? That the rich must keep on getting richer and the poor must keep on getting screwed.

    Look at those measures they're voting on. Even the spineless English would resist them. Or perhaps not, given recent evidence..

  • kizbot

    29 June 2011 11:01AM

    let me tell you that what I witnessed late at night made me drop my arguments against those who called the current government a junta.


    As lamentable as that kind of nasty police behaviour is, it's obvious that you're too young to have ever had the misfortune to live under a junta or even witness one. But, you may find out soon enough what it's reall like anyways.
    I take it you don't condone the actions of the black clad hoodies either? Or do you think that some forms of violence are terrible but others not?

  • giveusaclue

    29 June 2011 11:01AM

    notwise

    29 June 2011 10:58AM

    giveusaclue

    29 June 2011 10:44AM

    Imagine if your neighbour spent his money on several foreign holidays a year, new cars every year and new furniture all the time, etc. Then he came to you one month and said "mate I'm broke, can you pay my mortgage for me for the next .......months"

    How would you feel?

    I feel you would be more at home on the Mail or Express website where this kind of mindless rhetoric will blend in nicely. In fact you might even get offered a job writing for the Express


    Can't stand either tbh. And I most certainly do not have a monopoly on "mindless rhetoric" on this site. But it is always mindless rhetoric when you don't agree isn't it?

  • gpap

    29 June 2011 11:02AM

    More organised political thuggery, all because public servants don't want to work past 50. My heart bleeds.

    Can we stop the misinformed stereotyping please, the retirement age in Greece is currently 65 and is set to rise to 67.

  • iamnotwise

    29 June 2011 11:02AM

    gpap

    29 June 2011 10:58AM

    As a Greek, I feel obliged to point out that the anarchists causing all this trouble are by no means representative of the general population. The far left in Greece is strong for historical reasons - civil war, persecutions, resistance against the dictatorship etc.

    Most people protest peacefully, and they protest not because they don't understand the need for austerity. They protest because they can see that the government has no intention of cracking down on tax evasion, instead preferring to make poor employees and pensioners pay all the cost for this mess.

    These points are often missed by the media...

    We know this, it happens here, there and everywhere. We all need to wake up. I think some of us are beginning to wake up.

  • Contributor
    teaandchocolate

    29 June 2011 11:02AM

    MarcoLondon
    29 June 2011 10:55AM
    1) the day greek people will start work and stop rioting the streets..... the day they ll come out from this mess...

    Harsh. Are you ignoring the world wide recession in this Greek, Spain, Portugal, UK, thing? The housing bubble?

    2) A default from Greece will also reduce your pension pot

    Again... and again. If anyone is stupid enough to invest their pension in a global financial institution, then they are asking for trouble. It would be safer to buy doubloons and bury them in the bloody garden.

    Jeez.

  • IllusionOfFairness

    29 June 2011 11:03AM

    The Greek government will hope to pass its austerity bill - a precondition of additional loans from the EU and IMF - in parliament against a backdrop of massive public opposition

    The start and end of this is: the greeks owe too much to banks, so the banks say "your political landscape must change (regardless of the will of the people), or we will not continue to bail you out". The Greeks should not allow an elite to dictate their policies anymore.

    -The banks made feckless investments and should take the hit.
    -The greeks should default, leave the euro and sort their own problems in their own way (not dictated by ECB / IMF).
    -The IMF should be closed down.

    They are screwed either way, but at least this way they are screwed and get to keep self-determination.

  • happytolive

    29 June 2011 11:03AM

    The truth is that any resistance needs a momentum and a right time. Never in the modern history of the people’s struggle have we had millions of masses around the world who are fighting for justice on a daily basis. The revolutions in the ME and N Africa cannot be silenced by the West’s interference; the subdued ones will soon come back and hit the West and the regime of dictatorship much harder.

    The same is true in Europe. The voice of the Spanish and Greek people will not be silenced but will get much louder.

  • iamnotwise

    29 June 2011 11:04AM

    YouBloominLefties

    29 June 2011 11:01AM

    whizgiggle
    29 June 2011 10:49AM
    It depends. If he's buying the cars from you, you probably have something to lose by not helping.

    Yeah but you wouldn't want to keep selling him cars if you had to lend him the money to do so and he never actually paid you back.

    No, any sensible person would stop selling. Or providing more credit. But...

  • PlightOfSisyphus

    29 June 2011 11:04AM

    Capitalism is nothing but modern day feudalism thinly disguised as democracy. The bankers, corporate elite and royals are the lords and the elected are their vassals, whilst the rest of us peasants are required to work their fiefs for them for pittance.

    The faster we come to terms with that reality, the better chance we have of overthrowing this god forsaken system and coming up with something more enlightened, humane and egalitarian. However, given our general lack of education as a whole and our infatuation with them, I don't see us changing our ways any time soon and we will continue to feed of their crumbs in the vain hope that one of these days we might just be lucky enough to join their ranks.

    Nietzsche said it best,

    “Insanity in individuals is something rare, but in groups, parties, nations and epochs it is the rule”

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