Greece is a nation which has experienced more than its fair share of trauma when it comes to the Eurozone crisis. Since the Greek troubles began in 2009 harsh austerity measures have pushed the population to the edge time and time again.
As one struggling citizen said; ‘We can’t take it anymore – we are bleeding […] These tax hikes and wage cuts are killing us’.
In response to the latest round of cuts two of Greece’s biggest unions called for strikes and the populace answered their call.
Police officials have estimated that yesterday’s demonstration, which involved over 50,000 people, was the largest for over a year. As they marched to parliament the protesters chanted ‘We won’t submit to the troika’ and ‘EU, IMF OUT!’
Towards the close of the rally heightened emotions spilled over and the situation became violent. Dozens of protesters, clad in hooded black, threw bottles, stones and petrol bombs at riot police. As a small fire started police responded by releasing several rounds of teargas. This was the most violent action seen in the nation since February, when banks and shops were set alight after parliament approved a publically loathed austerity bill.
Depending on the outcome of today’s meeting between the three leaders of the Greek coalition parliament there could be more violence to come.
In an effort to finally finalise the new package of spending cuts (to be worth 11.5 billion Euro’s) Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras has met with Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis and Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos.
The Prime Minister’s Office has asserted that during this conference the much delayed and debated cuts could at last be completely decided. The measures must be finalised by September 28th as Panos Tsakloglou, the head of the government’s financial experts, will be presenting the package to a Euro working group.
The continuing lack of resolution in Greece, coupled with instability in Spain, has made investors wary of the struggling Eurozone. If the former nation can confirm the cuts and finally take a small step towards economic recovery it could give the common currency a much needed boost.
The Pound to Euro exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2599
The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.6203
The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.5568
The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2860
The Euro to Pound exchange rate is currently trading at 0.7936
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