- Apr 13, 2011
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Tens of thousands of protesters clashed with police in the streets of Greece this weekend as the country's government agreed the toughest roster of austerity measures yet, ahead of a fresh round of bailout talks with eurozone finance ministers on Monday.
Around 18,000 people demonstrated in Athens against the measures and another 8,000 in Thessaloniki, according to the Greek police. In both cities violence broke out after a small number of anarchist protesters hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at security forces, who responded by firing tear gas to disperse the crowds. The clashes came amid a three-day general strike led by Greece's largest union that brought much of the country to a halt, as government offices shut down, schools closed, and public transport didn't run.
The eleventh-hour legislation package, ultimately pushed through parliament with the backing of 153 out of 300 MPs in the early hours of Monday morning, will see the Greek pension system and tax system overhauled as well as a hike in VAT. Among the reforms is an increase in income tax for high earners, reduction of the national monthly pension to €384, and the phasing out of a benefit received by poor pensioners.
The measures are aimed collectively at making savings of €5.4 billion ($6.2 billion) — money intended to be used to meet debt repayments of €3.6 billion ($4.1 billion) due in July — as well as convincing creditors to release another desperately needed €86 billion ($98 billion) bailout promised last summer in exchange for the government implementing more austerity measures.
Read more @: Greece Hopes For Another Massive Bailout After Violent Street Protests
Greece has made even more austerity measures demanded by the EU and the IMF. While Tsipras has backed himself in a corner and accepted more and more of the harsh austerity demanded by the EU and the IMF it is now their turn to step up to the plate and release more of the money they have promised to them. If these funds aren not release Greece might exit the Eurozone, something I believe they should of done in 2015.