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Ear to the Ground

All Hades Breaks Loose in Greece

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Posted on Feb 13, 2012
AP / Kostas Tsironis

Protesters pass by a burning cinema in Athens on Sunday.

On Sunday, after months of economic and political turmoil, Greek citizens fed up with paying for mistakes made by their country’s power elite took to the streets by the tens of thousands to signal their disapproval of the austerity measures the government pushed through late that night. Message received.  —KA

The Daily Beast via Yahoo News:

The burnt out shells of at least 45 buildings in central Athens were still smoldering on Monday morning after a weekend of angry protests reached its apex on Sunday night in what Greek prime minister Luca Papademos called the worst breakdown of violence since 2008. Broken glass, chunks of marble ripped from the public squares and empty tear gas canisters lined the streets after an all-night battle pitted protesters against security forces who say they were outnumbered by a five-to-one ratio. Hundreds of protesters and police officers were injured and local Greek Sky television reported that at least twice, security forces ran out of tear gas.

[...] The demonstrations followed general strikes last week that were meant to warn politicians against passing a biting austerity package that would save Greece from debt default—at a hefty price tag for the population. The $4.3 billion package was ultimately approved by a 199 to 74 margin in a late-night vote, but the victory was bittersweet for Greek leaders. “We must understand and persuade Greek citizens that when you have to choose between bad and worse, you must choose the bad to avoid the worst,” Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos told parliament ahead of the vote.

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By diamond, February 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

“Debt has destroyed freedom, debt has destroyed Democracy and Corporations have so much control that they will attempt to remodel the rest of us into nice little Robots.”

Yes. And none of the debt is accidental. 150,000 public servants will go, wages will be slashed to the equivalent of $600 a month, hundreds of schools will be closed…and on and on it goes. A recipe for absolute disaster which will paralyze the Greek economy completely. The IMF is presiding over this disaster and their far right wing, free market agenda is well known. Most of Greece’s debt was created by the Germans who came in and built very expensive infrastructure. The people of Greece were never consulted and were powerless to prevent their politicians from running up this debt. Now they, not the politicians who will still receive their fat salaries, will pay the price. One Greek commentator said that these ‘austerity’ measures could lead to the complete collapse of the Greek health care system. I can’t say I’m surprised that the protesters are out in the streets and burning symbols of capitalism such as Citibank and Starbucks. It won’t be easy to bring in these draconian measures because the Greeks are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it any more.

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By Jim Yell, February 14, 2012 at 9:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It must be understood that resistence to reform of banking and investment is because a certain class of citizens are making a fortune from the shell game that is banking and investment. The people elected or appointed to public office are protecting their investment portfolios rather than the nation and its peoples interests.

It is clear they are willing to starve the abjectly poor and return the working poor to subsistence to preserve their huge fortunes, largely not earned, but created by tricks and manipulation of laws.

Debt has destroyed freedom, debt has destroyed Democracy and Corporations have so much control that they will attempt to remodel the rest of us into nice little Robots.

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Blueokie's avatar

By Blueokie, February 14, 2012 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

The lesson that peonage is something the masses don’t really strive for and await with baited breath always seems to be lost on psycho/sociopathic rich white men.

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By SarcastiCanuck, February 14, 2012 at 6:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You ever notice that the people telling the masses that they have to bite the bullit and take it up the ass,usually have high paying jobs with good pensions and a promising future….The Greeks have.

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By ElkoJohn, February 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

The people of Greece are making progress against the IMF and their crony
capitalist government.
If Greece were to suffer a major breakdown of law and order, the government
would need an absolutely loyal police force to attack the protesters into
submission. Riot police have fought countless battles with protesters in the past,
but its biggest union said the force also had its limits,
‘‘We refuse to stand against our parents, our brothers, our children,’‘
the Greek Police Federation said.

Let’s see how it goes in a revolution against a ‘‘democracy.’’

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, February 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

The Greeks are following the Iceland formula, let the banks fail.

The Greeks will recover and banks will become less likely to play craps with peoples money and retirement accounts.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, February 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

“We must understand and persuade Greek citizens that when you have to choose between bad and worse, you must choose the bad to avoid the worst,” Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos told parliament ahead of the vote.”

Sound familiar?

After the Health Care debate; “half a loaf is better then none.”

During TARP; ” we must hold our noses and vote for this!”

“Shared Sacrifice!”


The 26 Billion dollar “back door” bail out for RoboSigining; “This isn’t the best we can do, but at least it’s something.”

Any one starting to see a pattern?

It would seem in Greece, as well as here, when ever some has to take the fall it is usually the people!

The CEO’s (after TARP) got their bonuses; Big Pharma and the Health Insurance Companies got the back room deals (no single payer or public option) and the Banks in Obama’s latest rescue of Wall Street are going to pay 5 Billion cash (21 billion are write downs and accounting tricks) for 1,3 Trillion in “fraud!”

So, yes I say we go “Hellenic” on their asses!

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By cyanemi, February 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

Totalitarianism right around the corner. This is where the U.S. is headed.

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By PatrickHenry, February 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

America’s comming attractions.

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