Greece: Police in new clashes at steel plant

July 23, 2012
Riot police clashed with protesting steel workers outside a factory near Athens on Monday, in a labor dispute that has triggered a political spat in the crisis-hit country.

Police said they used pepper spray and scuffled with protesters, when about 150 demonstrators challenged a cordon west of the capital. No arrests were reported.

On Friday, police ended a strike at the private steel plant that had lasted nearly nine months, clashing with protesters on a picket line, after a court declared the strike illegal.

Left wing opposition parties are backing the steelworkers’ demands, accusing the new conservative-led government of acting like “gangsters.” Continue reading

Greece: Bloated military and economic collapse

[Some may suggest that Greece pay back its creditors in rusty tanks and leaky submarines–not Euros. — Frontlines ed.]
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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

Greek anger boils over as country faces bankruptcy

Several people have been arrested in Athens amid a two-day strike over austerity measures. Msnbc.com’s Dara Brown reports.

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.

The Guardian newspaper reported that “running battles” broke out between protesters and police, with clashes in Syntagma Square.

‘Resist!’
Some protesters compared Greece’s plight, facing bankruptcy unless it accedes to the demands of international lenders, to its seven years under military dictatorship.

People in the Syntagma sang songs from the struggle in the 1960s and 1970 against a junta of colonels boomed out over loudspeakers.

“Do not bow your heads! Resist!” they chanted. “No to layoffs! No to salary cuts! No to pension cuts!” Continue reading

Greek police use tear gas on anti-austerity march

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

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