It Starts: Greeks Rebel Against Bailout

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Source: Wolf Street

Greece’s union of civil servants, Adedly, called for a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, and for a series of demonstrations, the first one tonight at Syntagma Square, just below the Parliament, and another one on Wednesday evening, when Parliament is expected to vote on the new, even tougher, and immensely hated bailout package.

The union for local government employees, Poe-Ota, also called for a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, the AFP reported. Two other demonstrations against austerity and the “euro” are planned for Monday night, one organized via social networks, the other by Antarsya, an anti-euro party that didn’t make it into Parliament.

It would be the first strike against the leftwing Syriza coalition since it came to power six months ago. An ironic plot twist in this tragedy.

Syriza was the big force in the demonstrations against the two prior bailout packages, totaling over €240 billion from taxpayers in other countries, conditioned on economic reforms pushed through Parliament by the conservative governments at the time. Now Syriza is looking at having to pass even tougher measures, including an increase in the Value Added Tax and pension reform, in return for only €86 billion in new money from taxpayers in other countries.

Syriza’s junior coalition partner, the Independent Greeks, is already getting cold feet.

“The agreement speaks of €50 billion worth of guarantees concerning public property, of changes to the law including the confiscation of homes… We cannot agree to that,” explainedPanos Kammenos, the party’s leader, adding that the party would nevertheless remain in the coalition. With “confiscation of homes” he probably meant foreclosing on homes with defaulted mortgages.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is already struggling with strong dissent within Syriza. But ironically, the pro-euro opposition parties, those maligned creatures that ran the show before, may support him in getting these despised measures passed…Continue reading

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