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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

March 13, 2010

GREECE ROCKED BY RIOTS

DAILY MAIL, UK - Street clashes broke out between rioting youths and police in central Athens as tens of thousands demonstrated during a nationwide strike against the cash-strapped government.

Hundreds of masked and hooded youths punched and kicked motorcycle police, knocking several off their bikes, as police responded with volleys of tear gas and stun grenades.

The Greek government] has announced a raft of savings through public sector salary cuts, hiring and pension freezes and consumer tax hikes to deal with its ballooning deficit, but the measures have led to a new wave of labor discontent.

The government says the tough cuts are its only way to dig Greece out of a crisis that has hammered the common European currency and alarmed international markets -- inflating the loan-dependent country's borrowing costs.

But unions say ordinary Greeks are being asked to pay a disproportionate price for past fiscal mismanagement.

'They are trying to make workers pay the price for a crisis [management caused,' said Yiannis Panagopoulos, leader of Greece's largest union, the GSEE.

All news broadcasts were suspended as workers walked off the job for 24 hours to protest spending cuts and tax hikes designed to tackle the country's debt crisis.

Strikers and protesters banged drums and chanted slogans such as 'no sacrifice for plutocracy,' and 'real jobs, higher pay.'

Riot police made heavy use of tear gas during the start-and-stop clashes throughout the demonstration, including outside Parliament.


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