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Old 02-12-12, 05:44 PM   #1
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Default Greece on Fire

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/world/europe/greeks-pessimistic-in-anti-austerity-protests.html?_r=1&hp


Quote:
ATHENS — As hooded youths torched shops and battled police in the streets of Athens, lawmakers early Monday approved a tough austerity package that was expected to help the country avoid default.
Out of the 300 members of Parliament, 199 voted yes, 74 voted no, 5 voted present while 22 were absent.

Lawmakers accepted the plan after Greece’s so-called troika of foreign lenders — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — had demanded the measures in exchange for about $170 billion in bailout money. The troika had also made passage a condition for sealing a deal in which private creditors will take voluntary losses of up to 70 percent of Greek debt.
The outcome was widely expected, though many lawmakers grudgingly voted yes.

Addressing Parliament, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos stressed that rejection would plunge the country into bankruptcy. He appealed to lawmakers to do their “patriotic duty” and make the “most significant strategic choice a Greek government has faced in decades.”

Still, he acknowledged that the program was “tough and calls for sacrifices from a broad range of citizens who have already made sacrifices.”

But the alternative — “a disastrous default” — would be worse, he said.

“Our country has been experiencing the biggest crisis since the restoration of democracy,” Mr. Papademos said referring to the fall of the military dictatorship in 1974. “It started as a crisis of fiscal deficit and public debt and has now become a broader economic, social and national crisis.”

As lawmakers debated, angry gangs outside smashed the facades of stores to loot them and targeted banks or branches of foreign chain stores. A Starbucks was among those to go up in flames. The crowd swelled as the day went on; chants of “traitors” were directed at the lawmakers inside Parliament.

Police said that dozens of stores had been torched or looted and that more than 50 arrests had been made. About 100 riot officers had been injured, the police said, while the local media reported that dozens of demonstrators had been hurt.

In his speech, Mr. Papademos appealed to the protesters to be calm. “In these critical hours, we don’t have the luxury for such clashes,” he said.

Speaking in Parliament during a daylong debate, the leader of the conservative New Democracy Antonis Samaras, said that failure to pass the austerity measures would have been “a step into the void.”

The conservative leader, who is likely to be the next Greek prime minister, also reiterated calls for early elections after the debt swap deal was finalized. “With our vote today, we pave the way for immediate elections which will be liberating for society and stabilizing for democracy,” he said, adding that snap polls should be held in early April at the latest.

The voting weakened an already shaky coalition. Afterward, the Socialists ejected 23 members of Parliament for breaking ranks, the conservative New Democracy ejected 21 and the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally struck two.

Protesters also directed their anger at Germany, which has consistently argued for a tough austerity package.

“We’ve fought several times for liberation, but this slavery is worse than any other,” said Stella Papafagou, 82, pulling down a surgical mask worn over her mouth to keep out tear gas being fired by the police to push back protesters from Parliament. “This is worse than the ’40s,” she said, referring to the Nazi occupation.

“This time the government is following the Germans’ orders,” she said. “I would prefer to die with dignity than with my head bent down.”

Her granddaughter Elina, a 25-year-old employee at a marketing company, said she was still living with her parents and grandmother as she could not afford to move out on a monthly wage of 600 euros, or $790, which she fears will be slashed. She said she had all but abandoned her hopes to become a journalist.

“The worst thing though is that we can’t have dreams for the future. They’ve killed our hope,” she said pointing in the direction of Parliament.

Natalia Stefanou, a 45-year-old shoe shop employee, said she had not been paid since September and feared she would lose her job soon.

“It’s not me I’m worried about though, I’ve got two children, aged 14 and 15, what kind of country are we going to leave them?” she said. Asked if the austerity bill would pass, she said she was sure it would. “They’ll find 151 traitors,” she said, referring to the majority required to push the measures into law.

Makis Barbarossos, 37, an insurance salesman, said he had lost faith in Greek politicians.

“They’re all sold out in there; they should be punished,” he said, waving a cigarette in the direction of the Parliament building. “We should put them in small, unheated apartments with 300-euro pensions and see can they live like that. Can they live how they’re asking us to live?” Asked what the solution was, his answer was blunt. “Three hundred nooses,” he said, referring to the 300 members of Parliament.
Seems eerily similar to the situation the US is plunging headfirst towards. Similarly, I think they'll certainly try to sacrifice our poor and middle class to get us out of the economic mire. Thoughts?
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Old 02-12-12, 05:49 PM   #2
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Not even going to lie
those pictures look so good, I would think they are from a movie
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Old 02-12-12, 05:57 PM   #3
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Just kick them out. They lied about their finances and killing the rest of us
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Old 02-12-12, 06:13 PM   #4
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Quote: Originally Posted by Omega_Prime View Post
Just kick them out. They lied about their finances and killing the rest of us
+1 & -1.

-1 To that solution, which sounds simple enough, but in reality isn't. All other countries in the EU have got too much money laying on Greece's table in order to kick them out at this moment.

+1 Greece should've never even been part of the EU in the first place. Quite alot of politicians knew it before the country joined the union, and some of those still approved them anyway.
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Old 02-12-12, 06:37 PM   #5
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I don't think burning down businesses and looting their stuff would help at all. It would just make things worse than they are.
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Old 02-12-12, 06:44 PM   #6
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Quote: Originally Posted by L1b3rta View Post
+1 Greece should've never even been part of the EU in the first place. Quite alot of politicians knew it before the country joined the union, and some of those still approved them anyway.
That's all I believe in :P

They are already in debt of 100% of GDP? If I remember correctly from radio 4. They are never going to pay it off. Just cut their loss and move on. This Titanic won't be floating again.
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Old 02-12-12, 07:20 PM   #7
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Quote: Originally Posted by Adeno View Post
I don't think burning down businesses and looting their stuff would help at all. It would just make things worse than they are.
Sometimes you gotta fight fire with fire.
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Old 02-12-12, 07:43 PM   #8
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Goldman Sachs
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Old 02-12-12, 07:56 PM   #9
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If your going to protest about something, at least do it without destroying some else's property, it cost nothing to destroy but it takes a lot of effort to rebuild.
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Old 02-12-12, 07:58 PM   #10
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Spartans! Tonight! We dine in Hell!!!
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Old 02-12-12, 07:59 PM   #11
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As a Greek that I am, it is quite interesting to see other people point of view in that matter. Well, I don't agree that we should have neer been part of EU, but with the current facts due to extremely bad financial management, I accept the opinion of "Kick them out". After all it's true...we will never be able to pay the debt.
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Old 02-12-12, 08:01 PM   #12
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And yes.. people are stupid enough to burn properties down out of blind anger.
At least burn what HAS to be burned.
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Old 02-12-12, 08:29 PM   #13
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instead of destroying builds they should be preparing those 300 nooses
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Old 02-12-12, 08:31 PM   #14
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Thats crazy Greece is going insane. Very good pictures as well.
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