[Some may suggest that Greece pay back its creditors in rusty tanks and leaky submarines–not Euros. — Frontlines ed.]
February 21, 2012
Sell Them Tanks, Then Call Them Profligate
Germans, French Were Keen to Sell Arms to Greece
by PATRICK COCKBURN, writing for Counterpunch
Athens — As Greeks waited for a second eurozone rescue package to finally be agreed in Brussels today, many were blaming Germany and France for encouraging and benefiting from some of the much-criticized profligate spending that reduced Greece to near bankruptcy.
About 1000 protesters gathered in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens yesterday, while riot police waited to see if there would be a fresh confrontation. But, in general, Greeks are resigned to the new package of austerity measures which will cut jobs in public service and slash pensions and the minimum wage.
Hopes are high that the eurozone ministers’ meeting today will agree to the €130 billion bailout after Athens detailed the new budget cuts.
While most Greeks are critical of the reforms on which the troika of the EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank are insisting, many also feel that Germany and France share some of the blame for Greece’s overspending.
Over much of the past decade, Greece – which has a population of 11 million – has been one of the top five arms importers in the world. Continue reading →
Several people have been arrested in Athens amid a two-day strike over austerity measures. Msnbc.com’s Dara Brown reports.
By msnbc.com staff and news services
ATHENS — Black-masked protesters threw Molotov cocktails, stones and bottles and police fired teargas during clashes in central Athens Friday, as striking Greek workers denounced a new wave of austerity Friday as an imposition too far by Europe and the International Monetary Fund.
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told the nation it faced a stark choice between sacrifices inside the euro area and bigger sacrifices outside it.
The clashes in central Athens came at the start of a 48-hour general strike against planned pay and job cuts.
Students carry a blood-stained Greek flag during a rally in Athens marking the anniversary of a 1973 students uprising against the dictatorship then ruling Greece November 17, 2011. REUTERS-Yiorgos Karahalis
by Renee Maltezou and Harry Papachristou
ATHENS | Thu Nov 17, 2011–Youths protesting against austerity on Thursday, one day after a national unity government took office charged with imposing painful tax rises and spending cuts to save Greece from bankruptcy.
More than 30,000 people marched past shuttered shops in central Athens beating drums, waving red flags and chanting “EU, IMF out!” in the first public test for technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and his quarrelsome, three-party coalition.
The annual November 17 march commemorates a bloody student uprising against Greece’s military junta in 1973 but often becomes a focal point for anti-government protesters. Continue reading →