In the meantime we watch Greece to see if the inventors of democracy and western civilization itself can muster any meaningful response to a coup attempt by the bankers. And as the moneychangers lash out in an increasingly desperate attempt to collect on their immoral and criminal claims, we will see on whose side the cops will land. After all, the banksters are going after their salaries and pensions too.
Greek Police, Protesters Clash in Nationwide Strike (Update2)
By Natalie Weeks and Maria Petrakis
Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Greek police fired tear-gas and clashed with demonstrators in central Athens after a march organized by unions to oppose Prime Minister George Papandreou’s drive to cut the European Union’s biggest budget deficit.
Hooded youths threw rocks, marble and other objects at riot police after the march today to the country’s Parliament building. At least one person was detained.
“People on the street will send a strong message to the government but mainly to the European Union, the markets and our partners in Europe that people and their needs must be above the demands of markets,” Yiannis Panagopoulos, president of the private-sector union GSEE, told NET TV yesterday. “We didn’t create the crisis.”
Half a million civil servants, who held a one-day strike on Feb. 10, today joined forces with GSEE, which represents 2 million workers, after EU warnings that Papandreou’s government needs to bring in new taxes and make more spending cuts if it fails to rein in the largest budget gap of all 27 EU member states.
Air-traffic controllers, customs and tax officials, train drivers, doctors at state-run hospitals and school teachers walked off the job to protest government spending cuts that will freeze salaries and hiring and cut bonuses. Journalists also joined the strike, creating a media blackout. more
Spain engulfed by pension protests
Spain's debt-laden Socialist government has witnessed the first mass protests by unions in its six years in power as anger over a plan to raise the retirement age spilled onto the streets.
The UGT and the CCOO, the country's two largest unions, called for Tuesday's demonstrations against the reform in several major cities, including Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.
Further demonstrations are planned in the rest of the country up until March 6 against the plan, announced last month, to raise the legal retirement age from 65 to 67.
The Spanish economy, the fifth largest in Europe, has been mired in recession since the end of 2008 as the global financial crisis hastened a correction that was already underway in its once-buoyant property sector. more