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Anti-Austerity Protests Break Out In Athens And Madrid

Anti-Austerity Protests Spain Greece 2012 Debt Crisis-Europe

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#1 Cait

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 04:14 PM

And so it goes....

http://www.huffingto..._n_1917209.html


Quote


Demonstrators clashed with police on the streets of Athens and Madrid on Wednesday in an upsurge of popular anger at new austerity measures being imposed on two of the euro zone's most vulnerable economies.

In some of the most violent confrontations, Greek police fired tear gas at hooded rioters hurling petrol bombs as thousands joined the country's biggest protest in more than a year.

The unrest erupted after nearly 70,000 people marched to the Greek parliament chanting "EU, IMF Out!" on the day of a general strike against further cuts demanded by foreign lenders.

"We can't take it anymore - we are bleeding. We can't raise our children like this," said Dina Kokou, a 54-year-old teacher and mother of four who lives on 1,000 euros ($1,250) a month.


Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#2 offworlder

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    pls don't kick offworlders, we can find a place too

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:17 AM

been reading bout this stuff for weeks; a tough quandry and that's why there is no solution; the govs want the bailouts and aids, so they must do huge austerity cuts to live with requirements of the aiders, powerful EU countries; the people say Hey we can't live with that; I read some people making 1600 euro p mo. were cut to get only 1100; now how can any family live on that? so the people want to eat it too and maybe get one inch of cake just for the kids; they want what it appears they canna get so they riot because they feel powerless otherwise, they feel there is nothing else they can do; but if they get the cuts of the cuts, so less cuts, then the bailout aid goes bye bye; and the country is out of the euro if not the EU; and if out of the euro, their own cash will be worth what, how much less than euro? then huge inflation, depression, and what do they get then? how do they survive then? it's not like Well sell your diamonds and furs; it's more, barter for food on the table for the kids? with no roof over the table because they'r now homeless? oh my
"(Do you read what they say online?) I check out all these scandalous rumours about me and Elijah Wood having beautiful sex with each other ... (are they true?) About Elijah and me being boyfriend and boyfriend? Absolutely true. We've been together for about nine years. I wooed him. No I just like a lot of stuff - I like that someone says one thing and it becomes fact. It's kind of fun." --Dominic Monaghan in a phone interview with Newsweek while buying DVDs at the store. :D

#3 scherzo

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:56 PM

So let me see if I got this straight. Trouble ensues when governments spend more money than they take in?  Jeepers! :eek2:
"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."    -Ronald Reagan, October 27 1964
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#4 Cait

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:05 PM

View Postscherzo, on 27 September 2012 - 05:56 PM, said:

So let me see if I got this straight. Trouble ensues when governments spend more money than they take in?  Jeepers! :eek2:

Or one could say, trouble ensues when only austerity is used to fix the problems of over spending and shortfalls in revenue.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#5 Batrochides

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:35 PM

The people of Greece and Spain shouldn't bother to try to persuade their own governments--effectively financially-beholden puppets of the EU banking institutions--but convince the electorate of Germany that they should increase their financial assistance (whether directly or indirectly) to the nations in question.

BTW, what do you think the response of American police officers would be to having firebombs thrown at them? Would that not be assaulting them with deadly force, inviting equivalent force in return?

Batrochides

#6 Lin731

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:31 PM

Quote

Or one could say, trouble ensues when only austerity is used to fix the problems of over spending and shortfalls in revenue.

Yep, it seems to be working wonders in Europe doesn't it? Oh wait, no it hasn't. Britian I beleive has slide back into recession, Spain and Greece are a mess. We did much the same thing during the Great Depression. Things were starting to improve and then came the shouts for austerity which many economists blame for actually extending the hardship by years. Let's face it, "cutting government spending" is just a nicey nice way of saying cutting government workers, which helps us how exactly? Yeah the answer to unemployment is to create more unemployed people. We can't fix the problem without some tax hikes and cuts
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#7 scherzo

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:28 PM

Quote

We did much the same thing during the Great Depression. Things were starting to improve and then came the shouts for austerity which many economists blame for actually extending the hardship by years.
Austerity extended the great depression? I must admit I've never heard this before.  Where can I read about it?
"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."    -Ronald Reagan, October 27 1964
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#8 ilexx

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:07 AM

View Postoffworlder, on 27 September 2012 - 10:17 AM, said:

been reading bout this stuff for weeks [...]

Count yourself lucky! I've been reading about it for years!!!!

#9 Godeskian

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 05:50 PM

I feel a certain amount of sympathy for the everyman in this. After all it is exceedingly unlikely that the majority of people suffering under the austerity budgets had direct control over the financial mis-steps that lead to them being required. Yet those who were responsible, politicians and high level business executives are unlikely to be suffering any austerity measures of their own. They are likely to remain wealthy, they are likely to remain powerful, and as need be politically prominent.

I'm lucky to be both gainfully employed, and unlikely to lose that employment even if the recession worsens due to the nature of what I do, or rather if it gets so bad that there is no call for my services, then we've gone well beyond recession and we actually have bigger problems. If I was being told to cut back at the same time that my government's politicians were voting themselves pay rises I'd begin to wonder if violence wasn't a reasonable response.

Defy Gravity!


The Doctor: The universe is big. It's vast and complicated and ridiculous and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles... and that's a theory. Nine hundred years and I've never seen one yet, but this will do me.


#10 Shoshana

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 12:25 AM

We were there recently. I'm not sure if I can really explain how odd things felt while we were there but here goes. Athens - the graffitti is pretty much everywhere except for where access is restricted (like the Acropolis) or where they clean it off every day. Most of it is in Greek so we didn't know what it said, but a little was in English and it seemed all political, non gang related. Which makes sense.

The tourist areas we were in while in Athens were fine. There were a lot of young adults hanging around a square near our hotel the night (actually 2am) we got in and the next day but they were just hanging out, no prob. We intentionally didn't stay near Syntagma Square because that's where the protesters ... protest. We did go to the square and through Syntagma Square a number of times - it's a place you can catch a bus or taxi or get on the metro. There are also food places etc. We also went to see the changing of the guard. We didn't see any protests in Syntagma Square.

Overall though, we could feel that it wasn't really all that calm. I don't know Greek, so seeing Greek guys yelling at each other on the street was a little unnerving. I think they might be like that normally too - a group of Aussie tourists were being very loud later on on a ferry in a quiet area (not that there were quiet signs or anything!) and some of the Greek men started yelling at them to shut up and one walked over and popped a girl on the head. They never did tell the Aussies why they were being yelled at. I quietly asked another passenger later who told me.

Anyway, the second night we were there, I was asleep in the room. It was around 8pm and I was asleep - tired from coming into Athens so late (we flew American and the plane was so late we missed a connection). Gareth was out walking around. I heard A LOT of yelling and shouting and all kinds of noise coming from first the square around the corner then right under our window where the front door of the hotel was. There was a riot going on right there!!! People with boards and bricks and stuff. I peeked out and then ducked right back in. I was really scared because I was worried Gareth would walk right into it. I also knew he wasn't an idiot. He showed up after it was over and he was shaken. He said the front lobby windows were busted out and the employees were mopping up a big pool of blood in the back of the lobby near the stairs and elevator. Someone told Gareth that the riotors were 'leftists'.

The next morning, when we talked to the front desk people they told us the 'party line'. That there was a demonstration and a woman at our hotel started taking pictures of it. The demonstrators broke into the hotel, went up the stairs to get the woman's camera. They told us they broke stuff as they were leaving and that the woman 'left'. All in all it didn't give us the warm fuzzies. And we didn't believe most of it. They were looking at my camera when they told us the story. I told them I didn't take any pictures and they seemed relieved. Honestly I think the rioters were anarchists. That square was very quiet the rest of the time we were there, only a few people hanging out.

So later we went to the islands. And you'd never know there was anything wrong at all. Just gobs of tourists and people working in the tourist industry.

When we went back to Athens we stayed in a different hotel. No problems.

I don't know how the EU expects the everyday person to survive - I think that they are forcing too much austerity too quickly. The people living on fixed incomes are being hit horribly badly - Prices are at 2012 levels but the pensions are being cut to 1978 levels. And on top of that a lot of grown people have lost their jobs and moved back in with their parents who are subsisting on pensions.

#11 Bad Wolf

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 01:33 AM

View PostCait, on 27 September 2012 - 06:05 PM, said:

View Postscherzo, on 27 September 2012 - 05:56 PM, said:

So let me see if I got this straight. Trouble ensues when governments spend more money than they take in?  Jeepers! :eek2:

Or one could say, trouble ensues when only austerity is used to fix the problems of over spending and shortfalls in revenue.

Right.  One also needs to increase REVENUE.  Hmmmm.  I wonder how one does THAT????????????????????
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#12 ilexx

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:14 AM

@Shoshana Here's to hope that Mrs Merkel will eventually have her butt kicked a bit by Mr Hollande as well as both her own current finance minister and her former one, who will be her rival in the upcoming elections for the Chancellery next year.

#13 Shoshana

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:36 PM

I have been reading and it seems like the austerity burden is resting on the middle class and poor people. That doesn't seem fair.

#14 Lin731

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:33 PM

Quote

I have been reading and it seems like the austerity burden is resting on the middle class and poor people. That doesn't seem fair.

Sounds a lot like what some folks want to see happen here. I think they need to rethink THAT strategy and remember that Americans don't need bricks and fire bombs, we have guns, loads and loads of them and from the sounds of it, there will be a lot more "poor folks" than rich ones. Heck the mega wealthy have been building their own security systems (elaborate, fortress style ones) because they're afraid the riff raff might eventually decide they've had enough. Austerity alone will nor fix anyones economy. Broke people don't buy things do they? Broke people don't pay taxes, buy homes and cars and items that drive EVERY economy.
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#15 Shoshana

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:33 PM

^exactly!

#16 ilexx

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 05:23 PM

View PostShoshana, on 19 October 2012 - 07:36 PM, said:

I have been reading and it seems like the austerity burden is resting on the middle class and poor people. That doesn't seem fair.

Sadly, it does. The real trouble in Greece lies with corruption and the fact that the better-off people haven't been paying taxes for decades - and seem not inclined to start doing it any time soon: http://www.guardian....ssional-classes

View PostLin731, on 19 October 2012 - 08:33 PM, said:

Quote

I have been reading and it seems like the austerity burden is resting on the middle class and poor people. That doesn't seem fair.

Austerity alone will nor fix anyones economy. Broke people don't buy things do they? Broke people don't pay taxes, buy homes and cars and items that drive EVERY economy.

I'm somewhat cross with Merkel's ideas of an "all austerity, no stimulus"-program for Greece, because I highly doubt it will work. (Well, me and everyone else but Merkel.) However, it is not quite as simple as the above posts suggest. With a productivity as low as theirs, the Greek employ about 8% of their labour force in the public sector, where they receive - or well... received - huge benefits (high pensions, life employment, up to 17 salaries per year etc.), yet all administration is in a total disarray. If you follow this link, you'll get images of how an Athens local tax office looks like. And no, there was no looting or revolt or the like. It what it looks like regularly. And in all fairness, this is where EU and the Greek political class have most disputes: Brussels thinks this needs to change before they tnrow more good money after the bad. Greek elites think Brussels is right, but not if they were to be held accountable, as well. And Greek middle and lower classes are all in favour for things to change, but not if it means that they are the ones who should do the changes.



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