Thursday, March 11, 2010

Greece trembles as financial woes worsen

SHOOT: Don't be too quick to judge Greece. They're sukkeling, they're trying to plug financial leaks with taxpayers money, and the taxpayers - rightly - are pissed. The problem is that the credit crunch and financial crisis has made a lot of people, entire nations, poorer. They're not going to be going gently into the night as a result. South Africa shares much of that financial angst, and with our large populace that is poor and unemployed, we're walking a tightrope ourselves.
clipped from

ATHENS — Most international travel was halted and public services thrown into disarray on Thursday as thousands of Greek workers protesting austerity measures staged a general strike.

Thursday’s strike was called by the country’s two main labor unions, which represent some 2.5 million workers and have led resistance to the new austerity measures raising taxes and slashing civil servants’ vacation pay by 30 percent.

The measures, expected to raise some 4.8 billion euros and help plug a budget deficit that stands at 12.7 percent of gross domestic product, were approved by Parliament on Friday as protesters clashed with police outside.

But public support is crucial if these measures are to be implemented and opinion polls indicate that initial support for the reforms have plummeted from 70 percent to around 40 percent.

Meanwhile, another walkout is looming.
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