CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Greek tragedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Greek tragedy:

 

 

Tearful pensioner sits on the floor outside a bank in desperation as the country teeters on the brink of financial collapse

  • Distraught elderly Greeks have been queuing outside banks to withdraw pensions - but are restricted to 120 euros
  • Greece is preparing to vote in a referendum on Sunday on whether to accept latest bailout agreement
  • Latest poll shows support for 'Yes' campaign is slightly ahead of the government-backed 'No' for first time
  • The country is teetering on the edge, with cash reserves of just 500million euros (£355million) in the bank
  • Meanwhile, tourists have been warned they could be left without food or access to medicines 'within days'

The real cost of the Greek referendum campaign is etched on the pensioner's face, as he sits sobbing on the pavement outside a bank.

Helped up by a police officer and staff member, the elderly man is clearly in a state of distress.

He, like thousands of Greece's older residents, is restricted to taking out 120 euros from his state pension this week. 

Meanwhile, the country's 'Yes' and 'No' campaigners prepare to take to the streets this evening, before the referendum to decide whether to accept the terms of the latest bailout agreement on Sunday - which could decide the future of the country in the eurozone.

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Distress: An elderly man weeps as he is assisted by an employee and a policeman outside a bank in Thessaloniki, in northern Greece

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Distress: An elderly man weeps as he is assisted by an employee and a policeman outside a bank in Thessaloniki, in northern Greece

Anger: The pensioner gesticulates as he leaves the bank. Elderly people have been hit the hardest, with the government restricting the amount they can withdraw from the state payment to just 120 euros for this week

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Anger: The pensioner gesticulates as he leaves the bank. Elderly people have been hit the hardest, with the government restricting the amount they can withdraw from the state payment to just 120 euros for this week

Tears: Greek pensioners have been queuing at some banks, closed to everyone else, since before dawn to get their money

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Tears: Greek pensioners have been queuing at some banks, closed to everyone else, since before dawn to get their money

Greeks are being asked if the government should accept a bailout plan that would restart financial aid in exchange for further austerity measures and economic reform.

Rallies for both campaigns are due to be held this evening in Athens' city centre, as it emerged the 'Yes' vote was just over a per cent ahead of the 'No' for the first time.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, in a televised address to the nation, has called on voters to reject creditors' proposals for more austerity in return for rescue loans - urging Greeks to vote 'no to ultimatums, divisions and fear'.

He said the referendum is not a vote on whether Greece will remain in the euro.

Tsipras also said an International Monetary Fund report that says Greece needs debt relief 'fully justifies' Athens' position that Greece's debt load is unsustainable. The Greek leader said it was pointless to keep imposing harsh spending cuts on salaries and pensions just to continue servicing an unsustainable debt.

Yesterday, finance minister Yanis Varoufakis slamming the policy of austerity enacted on Greece over the last five years as a 'travesty'.

Varoufakis - who has said he will step down if the country votes 'Yes' - has insisted that a 'No' vote would relaunch the country's negotiations with its international creditors.

He is hoping to end five years of rolling bailouts for Greece and the 'pretending' that its debts can be repaid.

But he told the BBC on Thursday 'an agreement will be reached' either way. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has refused to engage in further negotiations until after Sunday's vote.

'If it's a 'Yes' it will be a bad agreement, the banks will open with a bad agreement... If a 'No' wins we are going to have another agreement which will be viable.'

Varoufakis added: 'We have a very bad system of governance in Europe. This is not the way to run a monetary union. This is a travesty. It's a comedy of errors for five years now, Europe has been extending and pretending.

'The programme that they imposed upon this country and which they want to continue imposing... is going to come down in economic history as the greatest cock-up ever.'

But his comments came as the Greek debt crisis hit a new low, after it was claimed plans to open the banks' doors again on Tuesday could be impossible due to having cash reserves of just  500million euros (£355million).

Desperate elderly Greeks queue outside banks for pensions

 

Agreement: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is refusing to hold further negotiations with Greece until after the referendum

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Agreement: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is refusing to hold further negotiations with Greece until after the referendum

Pledge: Greece's finance minister Yanis Varoufakis says he'd rather 'cut off his arm' than agree to the latest debt deal offered by the eurogroup and has promised to resign if his country votes yes in the referendum

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Pledge: Greece's finance minister Yanis Varoufakis says he'd rather 'cut off his arm' than agree to the latest debt deal offered by the eurogroup and has promised to resign if his country votes yes in the referendum

Panic: Huge queues have been building outside banks as people wait to get their state pension

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Panic: Huge queues have been building outside banks as people wait to get their state pension

Concerns: Varoufakis has said an agreement will be reached whichever way the vote goes. Pictured: People queuing for the bank in Athens

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Concerns: Varoufakis has said an agreement will be reached whichever way the vote goes. Pictured: People queuing for the bank in Athens

Debt crisis: A pensioner receives part of her pension outside a bank in Athens today where desperate elderly people without ATM cards have been queuing up outside banks

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Debt crisis: A pensioner receives part of her pension outside a bank in Athens today where desperate elderly people without ATM cards have been queuing up outside banks

GREEK VOTE 'TOO CLOSE TO CALL'

Greece is almost evenly split over a crucial weekend referendum that could decide its financial fate, with a 'Yes' result possibly ahead by a whisker,  new surveys show.

The poll by the Alco institute said 44.8 percent of Greeks intend to vote 'Yes' and 43.4 percent are for 'No' - making it the first published survey to give a lead to the 'Yes' vote ahead of Sunday's ballot.

However the survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, meaning it was still seen as too close to call.

The figures nevertheless confirmed other polling results suggesting a swing away from the 'No' vote urged by Greece's leftwing government towards the 'Yes' camp.

The survey, carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, after Greece imposed capital controls, found 11.8 percent Greeks were undecided.

The reserves are being eaten away by withdrawals from cashpoint machines. Many are empty and citizens are now only allowed to take 50 euros a day, down from 60.

Constantine Michalos, head of the Hellenic Chambers of Commerce, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘The cash reserves of the banks are down to 500million euros. Anybody who thinks they are going to open again on Tuesday is daydreaming. The cash would not last an hour.

‘We are in an extremely dangerous situation. The Greek business community is unable to import anything, and without raw materials they can’t produce anything.’

There has also been a stark warning to tourists from Constantine Michalos, president of Athens Chamber of Commerce, who said there was a real risk of visitors being left without the 'basics'.

He told BBC Radio 4: 'We will see as of next week shortages on the shelves.

'We are not in the position, although we may have funds in our accounts, to actually import goods and the major worry here is with basic sectors of the economy such as food and pharmaceuticals.'

Business leaders have been locked in talks with the Bank of Greece for the immediate release of emergency liquidity funds to cover food imports and pharmaceutical goods.

Officials say the central bank will release the funds today, but this is a stop-gap measure at best. The news comes as the Bank of England warned that the crisis posed a threat to British economic recovery. Deputy governor Sir Jon Cunliffe said the UK must ‘prepare for the worst’ as Greece lurched closer to a eurozone exit ahead of Sunday’s referendum.

He said economic defences ‘will be tested’ by a Grexit that could wreak havoc in the eurozone – the UK’s main trading partner.

Sir Jon said: ‘It is a very volatile situation. It is a very fluid situation. It is a very dangerous situation.’ The warning came as the International Monetary Fund said Greece needed £35billion in emergency aid over three years to stay afloat.

Anger with the government has been growing. Shop assistant Suzanna Alizoti, 32, said: ‘Tsipras has made the situation much worse, it’s his fault the banks are closed.’

This week Greece became the first developed nation to miss an IMF repayment. EU leaders have ruled out further talks before the referendum, which is now effectively a vote on Greece’s future in the euro.

Ordeal: The elderly woman is given water by a bank manager after collapsing while trying to get to her cash

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Ordeal: The elderly woman is given water by a bank manager after collapsing while trying to get to her cash

Chaos at banks: A crowd of pensioners push and shove as they attempt to get into a bank on the island of Crete today

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Chaos at banks: A crowd of pensioners push and shove as they attempt to get into a bank on the island of Crete today

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Wednesday that the BoE was ready to take whatever action was required to limit the spillover if Greece were to leave the euro zone.

Yesterday, the chairman of the eurogroup has blasted Greek 'time wasters' after further talks were scrapped until after the referendum.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is also Dutch Foreign Minister, said he sees 'little chance' of progress after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' speech calling for 'no' vote on the austerity measures.

Dijsselbloem added that an overwhelming majority of Greeks wanted to stay in the euro, and the referendum would show whether they were prepared to accept the austerity needed to do so.

His comments came as hundreds of desperate pensioners were pictured pushing and shoving outside Greek banks this morning after 1,000 reopened to allow those without ATM cards to make small withdrawals.

The Greek government ordered the banks to reopen to allow those without any other means of obtaining cash to enter and remove a maximum of €120 from their retirement funds.

Describing the referendum, retired pharmacy worker Popi Stavrakaki, 68 said: 'It's very bad. I'm afraid it will be worse soon. I have no idea why this is happening.'

Tsipras urges Greeks to vote against creditors in referendum

 

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Stand-off: Jeroen Dijsselbloem (left) said he sees 'little chance' of progress after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' (right) speech calling for 'no' vote on the austerity measures

Pensioners are given priority tickets as they wait to receive part of their pensions in Athens this morning

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Pensioners are given priority tickets as they wait to receive part of their pensions in Athens this morning

Speaking yesterday, Tsipras said: 'There are those who insist on linking the result of the referendum with the country's future in the euro. They even say I have a so-called secret plan to take the country out of the EU if the vote is 'no'.

HOTEL CRISIS

Hotels in Greece have seen a collapse in last-minute bookings, which are down 50,000 a day.

And some hotels only have enough food and drink to last another ten days as bank closures make paying suppliers difficult, according to the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises.

Last-minute bookings account for 20 per cent of tourist traffic and the biggest drop is from Greeks themselves at close to 50 per cent.

Association head Andreas Andreadis said: ‘We are concerned in the tourism industry [and] hope there will be a deal with our EU partners.’

'They are lying with the full knowledge of that fact.'

The hastily called referendum is based on creditor reform proposals made last week as part of a negotiation with the Greek government.

But they were later updated and are now no longer on the table as the European part of Greece's bailout program expired at midnight on Monday.

The European Central Bank has left the terms of its emergency $100 billion cash support to Greece unchanged, a day after Athens slipped into arrears with the International Monetary Fund and its bailout program expired.

The move kept chances alive for a settlement between Greece and creditors and Yanis Varoufakis publicly thanked the ECB and its president, Mario Draghi, for the decision.

'This allows us to breathe. It's a very positive move and a move of good will on the part of the European Central Bank. I welcome it,' Varoufakis told state television. 

Unrest at famous site: Police officers are seen in front of the temple of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis, after receiving information that anti-austerity protesters are planning to place a banner at the ancient site in Athens

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Unrest at famous site: Police officers are seen in front of the temple of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis, after receiving information that anti-austerity protesters are planning to place a banner at the ancient site in Athens

Worried: A woman holds her head in her hands after discovering she can only receive part of her weekly pension from a bank

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Worried: A woman holds her head in her hands after discovering she can only receive part of her weekly pension from a bank

Draghi, he said, had faced down 'hawks' among eurozone members who had demanded that Athens increase collateral needed to receive continued assistance.

Greece is seeking a third bailout from the eurozone rescue fund after the previous deal expired this week without agreement on the terms of final pay outs.

The impasse left billions of bailout money frozen or cancelled and saw Greece forced to close banks and its stock market for at least a week.

Eurozone finance ministers decided to put the talks with Greece on hold till the weekend vote takes place.

Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said: 'Given the political situation, the rejection of the previous proposals, the referendum which will take place on Sunday, and the recommendation by the Greek government to vote 'No', we see no grounds for further talks at this point.

'There will be no talks in the coming days.'

Long queues form in Athens as pensioners try to access banks

 

Waiting for their money: Pensioners, pictured queueing up outside a National Bank of Greece branch in central Athens, are allowed to claim up to 120 euros 

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Waiting for their money: Pensioners, pictured queueing up outside a National Bank of Greece branch in central Athens, are allowed to claim up to 120 euros

Fight against austerity: A woman makes her way past referendum campaign poster with the word 'No' in Greek in Athens

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Fight against austerity: A woman makes her way past referendum campaign poster with the word 'No' in Greek in Athens

On the verge of leaving the eurozone: Greece is in a financial limbo now that its bailout program has expired, cutting it off from vital financing and pushing it one step closer to leaving the euro

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On the verge of leaving the eurozone: Greece is in a financial limbo now that its bailout program has expired, cutting it off from vital financing and pushing it one step closer to leaving the euro

Business associations and the country's largest labor union urged the government to cancel the vote.

And the Council of Europe - an independent body that monitors elections and human rights - told The Associated Press the referendum would fall short of international standards. 

Greece is in a financial limbo now that its bailout program has expired, cutting it off from vital financing and pushing it one step closer to leaving the euro.

It also has become the first developed country to fail to repay a debt to the International Monetary Fund on time. The last country to miss an IMF payment was Zimbabwe in 2001.

As long as it is in arrears on the IMF payment, Greece cannot get any more money from the organization.

The referendum has thrown additional confusion into the already fraught negotiations.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a deal remained impossible before the referendum, while French President Francois Hollande said creditors should seek an accord before then.

'We have to be clear. An accord is for right now, it will not be put off,' Hollande said.

Defiant PM: Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is resisting the pressure from the eurogroup,  insisting a 'No' vote would give the government a stronger negotiating position

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Defiant PM: Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is resisting the pressure from the eurogroup, insisting a 'No' vote would give the government a stronger negotiating position

Upcoming vote: More elderly line up outside a bank in Athens to receive their pensions today ahead of a weekend referendum on whether Greece should accept austerity measures proposed by the eurogroup

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Upcoming vote: More elderly line up outside a bank in Athens to receive their pensions today ahead of a weekend referendum on whether Greece should accept austerity measures proposed by the eurogroup

Deepening crisis: The referendum has thrown additional confusion into the already fraught negotiations

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Deepening crisis: The referendum has thrown additional confusion into the already fraught negotiations

 

 

A whole island pretending to be blind to get benefits, 8,500 pensioners who faked being aged over 100 and lawyers who claim to earn just €12,000: New book reveals how Greeks cheated THEMSELVES into ruin

  • James Angelos' book looks at widespread tax evasion and benefit fraud
  • Includes case of the island where 498 people pretended to be blind
  • Also reveals how super-rich bought camoflage for pools to avoid tax
  • Greece is on the brink of collapse as it decides whether to reject EU bailout

Greece in teetering on the brink of ruin - and it is hard not to feel sympathy for the pensioners crying in the street and the mothers facing empty supermarket shelves.

Yet those reading a new book may find themselves feeling a little less compassionate towards the Greeks. It reveals an eye-popping catalogue of benefits scams and tax avoidance schemes that have robbed the public purse.

James Angelos' The Full Catastrophe: Travels among the New Greek Ruins lays bare the corruption which filtered through all levels of society - from the islanders who pretended to be blind, to the families who forgot to register their parents' death and the doctors who 'earn' just €12,000 a year - yet live in Athens' most exclusive neighbourhood.

 

Distress: An elderly man cries outside a bank in northern Greece this morning, after queuing to take out his pension this morning - which has been reduced to 120 euros this week. Some claim Greece is going to run out of cash within days if it does not accept the bailout offered to the country

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Distress: An elderly man cries outside a bank in northern Greece this morning, after queuing to take out his pension this morning - which has been reduced to 120 euros this week. Some claim Greece is going to run out of cash within days if it does not accept the bailout offered to the country

Fiddlng the system: But a new book has lifted the lid on widespread benefits fraud, and tax avoidance - both of which contributed to a budget deficit which runs into billions of euros. Pictured: Pensioner at a bank

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Fiddlng the system: But a new book has lifted the lid on widespread benefits fraud, and tax avoidance - both of which contributed to a budget deficit which runs into billions of euros. Pictured: Pensioner at a bank

It was the rumours of an 'island of the blind' which first bought Angelos, a journalist, to Greece in 2011.

He had heard that on Zakynthos, something like two per cent of the population were registered blind.

All was not quite how it seemed, however, and it transpired that 61 of the 680 'blind' residents were quite happily driving around the island.

In fact, an astonishing 498 of those 680 were not blind at all - or even partially sighted.

But being 'blind' had its advantages - in particular, the €724 paid in benefits once every two months, and a reduction in utility bills.

It was a scam which could be traced back to one ophthalmologist and one official, which was estimated to have cost the country €9 million.

And, as Angelos discovered, it was only the tip of the iceberg.

How big is the problem of disability benefits fraud, Angelos asked the then-deputy health minister Markos Bolaris.

'Very big,' came the accurate, but short, reply.

Indeed, when those claiming disabilities were asked to present themselves at government offices so records could be updated, 36,000 failed to do so.

That translated to an immediate saving for the government of €100m a year.

Long queues form in Athens as pensioners try to access banks

Fraud: One of the most famous examples is that of Zakynthos, the holiday island (pictured) where almost 500 people pretended to be blind in order to get benefits and discounts

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Fraud: One of the most famous examples is that of Zakynthos, the holiday island (pictured) where almost 500 people pretended to be blind in order to get benefits and discounts

Widespread: When the Greek government took a closer look at those who were claiming disability benefit, they realised as many as 36,000 were claiming the handout, despite not being entitled

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Widespread: When the Greek government took a closer look at those who were claiming disability benefit, they realised as many as 36,000 were claiming the handout, despite not being entitled

But the fraud was certainly not confined to just disability benefits.

When the government chose to take a closer look at who they were paying pensions to, they found a slightly suspicious 8,500 pensioners had surpassed the milestone age of 100.

An even closer look revealed, 40,000 pension claims were fraudulent. It seems people were forgetting to register their loved ones' deaths.

It's not that these scams were not known about before, of course.

A Daily Mail investigation in 2011 revealed the subway system was essentially free for the five million residents of Athens - because, with no barriers, it relied on an honesty system which few were honest enough to use.

It described street after street of opulent mansions and villas, surrounded by high walls and with their own pools, which, on paper, were the homes of virtual paupers.

They were all allowed to declare their own income for tax purposes - and officially, they were only earning €12,000 - or a paltry £8,500 - a year, below the tax threshold.

Apparently, only 5,000 people admitted to earning more than £90,000 a year - prompting one economist to describe Greece as a ‘poor country full of rich people’.

The lengths these doctors, lawyers and businessmen would go to to hide their wealth from the government was, it has to be said, impressive.

According to official records, just over 300 homes in Athens' most exclusive neighbourhood had swimming pools, and had paid the resulting tax for such a luxury.

Hundreds of desperate pensioners flock to banks in Greece

Tax evasion: But it is not just people claiming benefits when they shouldn't. Some of the richest people in the country go out of their way to avoid paying tax - claiming they only earn £8,500 a year

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Tax evasion: But it is not just people claiming benefits when they shouldn't. Some of the richest people in the country go out of their way to avoid paying tax - claiming they only earn £8,500 a year

Desperate: Indeed, they even bought tarpaulin to hide their swimming pools from tax inspectors

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Desperate: Indeed, they even bought tarpaulin to hide their swimming pools from tax inspectors

But when the government decided to have a look on Google Earth, it became clear these residents hadn't been totally honest.

The real figure for swimming pools in the area is believed to be closer to 20,000.

But instead of coming clean, there was a boom in sales of camouflage tarpaulins to conceal their existence from the tax inspectors flying over the gardens.

And then there are the tales which seem to be more down to incompetence, rather than actual fraud.

In particular, there is the tale of treasury employee Savvas Saltouridis, who used an Uzi submachine gun to murder the mayor of his Greek mountain town in 2009, who remained on the municipal payroll for years afterwards - even though he was languishing in jail.

He was taking advantage of the complex disciplinary system

Angelos, then working for the Wall Street Journal, was told by retired clerk Apostolos Tsiakiris, who took over as mayor after the killing: 'You can't be a murderer and keep getting paid.

'That doesn't happen in any other government.'

But what do when so many are cheating the system? It is estimated tax evasion alone might be costing the country as much as €20billion a year in lost revenue, while years of benefit fraud will certainly have added up.

But when Angelos suggested punishing those who tried to play the system, he was given a straight forward - if depressing - answer.

'If you start putting people in jail, maybe you'll have to put half of Greece in jail,' an official said.

 

In 2010 the United States government spent 1.2 TRILLION dollars on roughly 1.4 million active military personnel.  That works out to about $860,000 per each soldier per year. The vast majority of this money was spent protecting corporate profits in foreign countries and lining dictators pockets.

The United States government spent roughly 150 billion dollars on unemployment in 2010. With the governments unemployment numbers hovering around 9.5% this mean 14.6 million American are unemployed.  So in 2010 the United States government spent roughly $10,300 per unemployed American worker per year. With the vast majority of this money being spent in America on American products to keep American families alive.

Unfortunately the true unemployment numbers in the United States are closer to 25%. 1 in 4 American workers are unemployed or underemployed. Americans are facing homelessness and starvation in record numbers.

The United States must stop spending TRILLIONS of dollars a year protecting corporate profits in the middle east while ignoring their own citizens.

 

 

Troops and mercenaries will be used to detain Americans in prison camps, warns deadly accurate trends forecaster

Frighteningly accurate trends forecaster Gerald Celente says that America will see riots similar to those currently ongoing in Greece and that the cause will be a hyper-inflationary depression, leading to the inevitable use of troops and mercenaries to deal with the crisis as Americans are incarcerated in internment camps.

The cause of the riots would be a hyper-inflationary depression, Celente told interviewer Lew Rockwell, causing Americans to revolt in similar circumstances that we have witnessed recently in Iceland and Greece. The trouble would be sparked off by Obama declaring a “bank holiday” whereby people won’t be able to withdraw their money.

Militant unions today sent a chilling warning of Greek-style strikes and protests after winning a major legal victory for civil servants made redundant.

The warning raises fears of months of chaos triggered by a furious public sector who refuse to accept painful changes to tackle Britain's financial crisis.

With one in five workers employed by the State, the scale of the crisis could be crippling with unions warning of a 'tidal wave' of strike action.

The Public and Commercial Services Union signalled the nightmare facing the future Prime Minister who tries to wield the axe.

Greek riot police

Predicting a riot: Left-wing Labour MPs and trades unions said they would organise Greek-style resistance to what they called the 'incoming coalition neoliberal government'

The Cabinet Office had been trying to cut a gold-plated redundancy deal for civil servants which it described as 'out of date and more expensive than almost any other available.'

But a High Court judge ruled today that Labour had acted unlawfully, and that the cost-cutting changes to redundancy payments must be scrapped after failing to get the union's approval.

The terms of the old redundancy deal was extraordinarily generous, with some long-serving civil servants eligible to get about six years' pay if they joined before 1987.

For example, a 46-year-old earning £24,000 who had been a civil servant for 25 years could enjoy a cash payment of about 6.2 years' salary, or about £150,000.

Under the new deal, the civil servant would still be eligible for a generous deal of £60,000.

By comparison, a private sector worker who earns the same money and has done the job for the same length of time would get just £8,360 under statutory redundancy rules.

Greek chaos

Greek chaos: One of the survivors is pulled out of the fire-bombed Marfin Egnatia Bank by firefighters in Athens last week

General secretary Mark Serwotka said his 270,000 members, who staged three days of strike action in March, 'refused to sit back and watch their terms and conditions being ripped up.'

He said: 'We will now be knocking on the door of the next government to remind ministers they are legally obliged to reach an agreement with us.

'If they do not meet their obligations, the union will have to consider further industrial and legal action.'

It comes amid tough warnings from other unions that any cuts will be fiercely opposed by a public sector which employs a record 6.1million people.

Left-wing Labour MPs and trades unions said they would organise Greek-style resistance to what they called the 'incoming coalition neoliberal government'.

'There is no popular mandate for cuts and, as in Greece, any attempt to impose them will be firmly resisted,' they said.

John McDonnell

John McDonnell: ' The left and trade unions will be forging a coalition to resist attacks on our communities'

Labour MP John McDonnell, chairman of the left-wing Labour Representation Committee, said: 'The public and private horse-trading masks the fact that whatever government emerges will be somewhere on the neoliberal spectrum, and will soon be driving through large scale cuts in public services, pensions and benefits.

'To face a neoliberal coalition government, the left and trade unions will be forging a coalition to resist attacks on our communities.'

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, warned: 'Unison will fight tooth and nail to defend our public services, oppose more privatisation and any attempts by the new government to attack our members' pay.

'We will fight for the hundreds and thousands of jobs that are in imminent danger. We will support our members forced into taking action to protect services and jobs.'

The firefighters' union also warned that it will oppose any cuts and promised to fight 'as never before'.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: 'We do not believe that people voted to see their emergency and other essential public services cut, to pay for the banks bail out.

'We will fight to stop our service from being cut to pieces. Local communities and workers in the public services will need to fight as never before to defend our vital public services.'

Yesterday the University and College Union said it is balloting its members over plans to change the gold-plated pension enjoyed by academics.

Under the changes, academics could be forced to pay more money into the scheme and work for an extra five years. Unions say the pension is 'deferred pay' for its poorly paid members.

General secretary Sally Hunt said: 'We cannot rule out the possibility of industrial action to protect our members’ pensions if the employers continue with their intransigent position.'

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail and Maritime Transport union said: 'When the British people realize just how seriously they have been misled by the political elite over the attacks on living standards and public services that have been kept under wraps, it will unleash a tidal wave of strikes and public protests that will mirror the growing resistance on the streets of Athens.

'Whatever deals are stitched together, the budget cuts will top the agenda of whoever grabs the levers of power.

'The billions in bankers' bail outs has been creamed off, chewed up and will be spat back in our faces in public spending cuts. There is no question there will be a fight back on a massive scale.'

Riots sparked by the death of a Greek schoolboy who was shot by police spread across Europe last night.

As officers continued to battle protesters in Athens for the sixth day in a row,
there was also trouble in Spain, Denmark, Turkey and Moscow.

Eleven people were arrested by Spanish riot police after violent clashes in Madrid.

There were also demonstrations in Barcelona where hundreds of youths took to the streets.

Enlarge Greek riots

Carnage: Youngsters run to avoid tear gas thrown by riot police outside the Polytechnic University in Athens, Greece,

Around 200 gathered in the capital's Puerta del Sol at around 8.20pm.

Nine people were held after youths tried to smash their way into a police station in the centre of the city.

They managed to smash glass windows at the station, in Calle Montera, just off the city's famous Gran Via.

Three police officers and six protesters were injured in violent clashes.

The demonstrators then fled down side streets setting fire to bins and smashing up banks.

Greek consulate in Turkey

Workers clean red paint at the entrance of the Greek Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey

In Barcelona around 800 protesters gathered in the Plaza de la Universidad in the centre of the city.

Two people were arrested as demonstrators wearing scarves to cover their faces set fire to bins and smashed up banks and other buildings.

Some carried banners reading 'In solidarity with the Greeks' and shouted 'Hired assassins' at heavily armed officers from the local Mossos d'Escuadra force.

Fifteen police vans followed them through the city streets.

Police sources said the two people arrested in Barcelona were a Greek girl and another foreigner. Two police officers were treated in Barcelona for light injuries.

Greek Embassy in Rome

Demonstrators hold a picture of Alexandros Grigoropoulos as they gather near the Greek Embassy in Rome

Across Europe, tensions were running high in Turkey where a group of demonstrators sprayed red and blue paint on the walls and gates of the Greek consulate building in Istanbul.

Meanwhile, police in Denmark said they briefly detained 63 people following a rally to support the Greece demonstrations.

Police spokesman Michael Paulsen said some 150 people who were demonstrating late last night in downtown Copenhagen hurled bottles and paint at riot officers.

Greek embassy in Sofia

Supporters of a Bulgarian anarchist movement hold banners and light candles in front of the Greek embassy in Sofia

Paulsen said all those detained were released today though some might face fines for refusing to obey police orders.

Further incidents were reported in Moscow and Rome while peaceful protests took place in Bulgaria.

The demonstrations were called to support the Greeks protesting over the death of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos, who was shot by a police officer.

Police said the eleven people were arrested for public order offences and damaging property.

Reports in Spain said most of the demonstrators were Greek students.

A general strike in Greece on Wednesday shut down schools, hospitals and other public services.

And youths fought pitched battles with riot police outside the Athens parliament.

Investors kicked Greek sand from their shoes after the debt-laden nation voted to accept EU austerity measures and tried to get back to business yesterday. It sort of worked. There was a strong flow of company news, but trading volumes were fairly light.

Keith Bowman, an equities analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘The market is trying to turn away from Greece and look towards corporate stories, at least for now.

But investors are wondering whether US growth is softening, they are looking at how far inflation will rise in the UK, and studying government and consumer spending patterns all over the world. Investors are doing a lot of head scratching at the moment.’

A large computerised display of the British FTSE 100 index

Even as Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou passed his second piece of legislation yesterday to implement specific tax increases and privatisations, most investors thought the move was a holding measure before a default, or a debt restructuring, eventually forces itself on the country.

However, the market’s confidence that Greek debt worries had been parked for the time being was shown as the Footsie rose for the fifth day in a row - up 89.76 to 5945.71 - led by generally encouraging corporate news.

While in the US, the Dow Jones leapt 152.92 to 12,414.39, boosted by a surprisingly strong report on manufacturing in the Midwest.

Lloyds Banking Group rose 4.34p to 49p after the part-nationalised High Street bank said it would axe 15,000 jobs and cut its international presence by half to 15 countries.

Other banks also performed well. Barclays rose 7.2p to 256.45p, Royal Bank of Scotland rose 1.7p to 38.46p, and HSBC was up 6p to 618.4p.

BSkyB closed down 1.5p at 846.5p even after the government said it was ‘minded to accept’ News Corporation’s bid for the 61pc of the satellite broadcaster it does not own.

Though culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said he still wants a few more assurances from the media group, the deal seems to be moving closer to being completed.

ITV had a less dramatic session after rumours of a 110p-to-120p bid late on Wednesday, which saw its shares rise 7pc. The broadcaster’s shares slid 0.45p at 71.5p yesterday. But analyst Ian Whittaker at Liberum Capital has the bit between his teeth and has drawn up a list of potential bidders for the country’s most watched commercial channel.

As buyers he has TV group RTL, Walt Disney, NBC Universal, and even Google, which he says is hungry for content. Though, to be fair, Whittaker puts Google down as a ‘left-field’ bidder.

BP rose 9.3p to 458.65p as whispers around the market said that the UK oil major’s deal with Russia’s Rosneft might be resurrected, but this time with BP’s Russian partner TNK as part of the deal rather than as a litigant against the joint venture.

Retail stocks were still having a hard time of it as investors mull over the spate of High Street collapses this week alone. Halfords closed down 6.3p at 371.2p and Ocado slid 2.2p to 182.3p.

Berendsen gained 39.5p to 545p after the supplier of linen cleaning services to hotels said it expects first-half pre-tax profits to be ‘significantly ahead’ of the same period last year.

The firm said the positive trends for the first three months of the current year outlined in April’s interim management statement have continued.

Van-hire group Northgate rose 18.1p at 327.9p after it posted a 47pc rise in full-year pre-tax profits, benefiting from strong used-vehicle markets in the UK and Spain, and said it was well-placed for the year ahead.

For the year to the end of April, pre-tax profits for the firm rose to £53.8m from £36.5m last year.

Petrofac, the oil and gas services firm, underwhelmed the market when it said it is on course to deliver its target of at least 15pc like-for-like net profit growth in 2011, and saw shares fall 31p to 1514p.

During the first half ended June 30, the group had an order intake of £1.3bn, including new awards in Algeria, Malaysia and Iraq.

Premier Foods slumped 5.46p to 19.02p, the largest drop since 2008. The country’s biggest food manufacturer said it expects profit for ongoing business in the first half of between £65m and £70m, compared with £94m in the same period in 2010.

Synchronica, an Aim-listed mobile IT firm, has bought one of Nokia’s messaging services for £15.6m to expand its presence in the data market in Europe, Africa and Latin America.

The Tunbridge Wells-based firm suspended its shares yesterday at 17.4p until the deal is completed.

It expects to re-list on Aim at the end of this month

 

TROUBLES IN GREECE COMING TO AMERICA?
After years of building up more than $400 billion in debt, Greece was devastated by the recent global economic crisis. Fearing the fallout from a Greek bankruptcy, fellow Eurozone members provided aid packages -- under strict conditions, including the adoption of severe austerity measures. Greece is entering a fifth straight year of recession, its economy poised to shrink another 5 percent in 2012. Average unemployment is at a record 21.8 percent -- with youth unemployment (under 25) at 51 percent. Years of increasingly difficult conditions have hit the citizens of Greece hard, and the uncertainty and frustration have led some to flee, a few to take their own lives. Collected here are images from a nation in the midst of a deepening crisis.

Dimitris Stamatakos, 36, sits in a field on land he is renting near his home in the village of Krokeae in the Peloponesse area of Greece, on March 18, 2012. Before the crisis Stamatakos was able to make a living by selling olives that he farmed on the land he owns, now he is forced to work for neighboring farms and do odd jobs to earn his living. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)Click here to find out more!

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The setting sun illuminates buildings in Athens, Greece, on March 15, 2012. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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Aris Christodoulou, 39, a martial arts instructor, poses for a picture in his gymnasium in Athens, on March 28, 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Christodoulou replied, "My clients cannot meet the subscription fees and me and my partners aren't taking a wage". (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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Members of the Greek Communist Party shout slogans during a rally against the austerity measures in Athens, on March 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

5

A padlock on the entrance of an abandoned factory in the industrial area at Komotini town in northern Greece, on March 3, 2012. After more than 30 years as a factory worker, Dimitris Manikas a former employee of a trash can company based in the same area, was dreaming of retirement and plans to get married for the third time when a redundancy notice blew his hopes away. Laid off from his job, the 52-year-old father of two called off his wedding -- even though he had bought the wedding bands. Without any income, he feared his house would be next to go. Driven to despair, Manikas on Thursday barged into the factory whose name he had tattoed on his forearm, to turn a hunting rifle on his former boss and another worker, injuring them both. He then held three people hostage, surrendering only after 11 hours of negotiations with police. (Reuters/Grigoris Siamidis) #

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Phoevos Doudonis, 37, an actor/singer, poses for a picture in front of the Acropolis in Athens March 28, 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Duodonis replied, "up to April 2011 I was making a good living as an actor and singer but I have been finding it difficult since then to find any work. Fees have been cut by 70-80% and some theatres don't pay at all. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

7

Afghan immigrants jump from an abandoned rail car to catch the train for Athens in Orestiada, on April 9, 2012. Human rights groups have heavily criticized Greece over the the building of a six-mile-long fence topped with razor wire, and for plans to intern illegal immigrants in former military bases pending deportation. The debt-crippled country is the European Union's main entry point for illegal immigrants, mostly from Asia and Africa. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Protesters run from police after hurling petrol bombs during violent anti-austerity demonstration in central Athens, on February 12, 2012. Historic cinemas, cafes and shops went up in flames in central Athens as black-masked protesters fought Greek police outside parliament, while inside lawmakers endorsed a new EU/IMF austerity deal. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #

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Nick Boudas, 54, a bread delivery man, poses for a picture near the village of Filiatra, on March 23, 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Boudas replied, "I lost my job, I lost everything." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

10

The sun sets behind volcanic islands seen from the island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea, on March 14, 2012. Greek tourism revenues could drop by up to 5 percent in 2012 due to a fall in pre-bookings from Germany, an industry official told Reuters, denting hopes the key sector will help pull the country out of the financial crisis. Greece has been hoping that tourism, which accounts for about 15 percent of GDP and employs roughly a fifth of the country's 4 million workforce, will boost its bleak economic prospects. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #

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A woman places a candle at the site where 77-year-old retired pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas fatally shot himself at Athens' main Syntagma square, on April 4, 2012. The Greek pensioner picked the busiest public area in Athens to commit suicide on Wednesday, leaving a note which police said linked his suicide with the country's acute financial woes. Notes pinned to the tree read: "Austerity kills," "Government of murderers," and "Enough." (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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Mourners chant slogans in front of the coffin containing the body of Dimitris Christoulas, in Athens, on April 7, 2012, who committed suicide in a central Athens square Wednesday. In a suicide note, he claimed the economic crisis affecting Greece had "destroyed" him. Hundreds attended the ceremony at an Athens cemetery. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

13

Passers-by cast shadows on pavement near a pool of blood following an attack on a policeman by protesters in Athens' main Syntagma Square, on April 7 2012. A protest march that followed a memorial service for Dimitris Christoulas turned violent with marchers beating a policeman and stealing his uniform, bulletproof vest, handcuffs and radio. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #

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Christina Tchatchou, 30, an actress/singer, poses for a picture in her bedroom in Athens, on March 27, 2012. When asked how she had been affected by the economic crisis, Tchatchou replied, "I haven't been that affected as I didn't get paid that much before anyway. However I get less work than I did." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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A hammer thrower leaves a training area at the Agios Cosmas sports facilities in southern Athens, on April 3, 2012. The head of Greece's athletics federation said that the body is considering suspending its operations due to deep cuts in state funding over the past two years. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

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A man walks by a wall adorned with graffiti in Athens, on march 8, 2012. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Dimitris Kazakos, 31, a waiter, poses in the Placa area of Athens, on March 28, 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Kazakos replied, "It's dramatically changed my life. People think twice about eating out and leaving a tip." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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Natassa Papakonstantinou, 43, calls a recruitment agency from her apartment in Kifisia, a suburb of Athens, on March 14, 2012. Natassa lost her telecom services job of 12 years in August of 2011, and was not paid for the last six months. She is now living off her savings and 461 euros ($611) from the government per month. When her savings run out in August she must leave her flat. She spends several hours a day searching and applying for jobs on the internet but still has not found any. Natassa is unable to afford to socialize much and has no family so she spends long periods of time alone. She says "I don't even listen to music much now. I used to love it but in the bad times of your life you forget about your hobbies." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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A visitor looks at antiquities at the National Archeological museum in Athens, on March 18, 2012. Faced with massive public debt as it moves into a fifth year of recession, Greece is finding that its fabled antiquity heritage is proving a growing burden. "Greece's historic remains have become our curse," whispered an archaeologist worried about budgets that are nonexistent or badly stretched. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Leonidas Polymenokos, 40, stands near a production bay in his family's olive oil factory near the village of Lagio in the Peloponesse area of Greece, on March 21, 2012. The factory which he runs with his three brothers first started production in 2000. Business is going well and they would like to expand. However this is proving difficult as they are finding it hard to get the necessary loans from the banks. When asked about the economic crisis in Greece he says, "we are all boiling in the same pot". (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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Customers crowd a truck to buy cheap sacks of potatoes sold directly by farmers at cost price in the northern Greek town of Thessaloniki, on March 2, 2012. Farmers in northern Greece have joined forces with local residents to provide cheap produce to the people, who make orders by email, and also to help producers who say they are being squeezed by middlemen. Similar "solidarity" actions have started to be organized in other Greek cities. (Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images) #

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George Andrianakis, 56, stands on the back of his pickup truck with one of his goats in the yard of his farm in the village of Stafania, Greece, on March 21, 2012. Andrianakis lives with his wife Athina, 48, and sons Dimitris, 24, and Panagiotis, 21. They all help with the milking of the goats and sheep as well as the harvesting of orange and olive trees, but his profit margins are down by almost 50 percent with production costs rising by almost 30 percent. He says: "I am surviving rather than living". (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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A drug addict lays on the ground in central Athens. Addicts have been a presence in Athens city center for more than 20 years, but with the recent crisis, things are getting worse for them, according to Philippos Dragoumis, president of a municipal center for prevention. (Iakovos Chatzistavrou/AFP/Getty Images) #

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People make their way around the coastal town of Patra in the Peloponnese area of Greece, on March 25, 2012. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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Pauline Delli, 32, a psychiatric nurse, poses in the street outside her place of work in Athens, on March 27, 2012. When asked how she had been affected by the economic crisis, Delli replied, "I am just living day to day and not thinking about the future." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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Sostis, a 60 year-old former sailor and the only human inhabitant of the volcanic islet of Palaia Kameni located in the caldera of Santorini, enters the Saint Nicolas church, on March 17, 2012. Initial data shows pre-bookings for the high summer season from Germany, which accounts for about 14 percent of Greece's total number of visitors, are down 20-30 percent. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #

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Dasalakis Theodoros, 60, a taxi driver, poses for a picture in front of his taxi at the port in Athens, on March 28, 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Theodoros replied, "I share the taxi with my son so we can work 24 hours a day between us to make things work." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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An employee at the state-run Workers' Housing Organization (OEK) crouches on a ledge while threatening to jump as a colleague speaks to her, in central Athens, Wednesday, February 15, 2012. The woman was fired as the agency was due to be shut as part of sweeping new austerity measures demanded by Greece's EU-IMF rescue creditors. After hours of negotiations, the woman was brought to safety as she came in from the balcony. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

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A woman receives a free meal during a soup kitchen organized by a Greek humanitarian group in Athens' main Syntagma square, on April 1 2012. Greece's austerity cutbacks have deepened the economic recession, and torn holes in the country's social fabric. Unemployment has hit a record high of 21 percent, and thousands of Greeks depend on church and municipal soup kitchens for sustenance. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #

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Christos Vassiliou, 79, retired sausage maker, poses for a picture in a shopping center in central Athens, on March 28, 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Vassiliou replied, "my pension has been cut by 250 euros ($334) a month. If it continues like this I will be thrown out of my house because I can't afford my rent." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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A stray dog barks at riot police during a high school students' anti-austerity protest in Athens, on February 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

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A man drinks coffee in front of a mural near the coastal town of Kalamatta in the Messinia area of Greece, on March 23, 2012. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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George Kanlopoulos, 55, a guide, mechanic and hotelier, poses for a picture in his garage at the town of Sparta, in the Peloponnese area of Greece, on March 20, 2012. When asked how he had been affected by the economic crisis, Kanlopoulos replied, "I haven't been affected as much as others because I am a mountain guide as well as a mechanic and hotel owner. This means I have more options." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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A disused basketball court in a field on the Greek - Turkish border outside Orestiada, northern Greece, on April 09, 2012. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Voula Stamatakos, 72, a housewife, poses for a picture in her home in the village of Krokeae, Greece, on March 18, 2012. When asked how she had been affected by the economic crisis, Stamatakos replied, "My pension has been cut but I try to stay positive." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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Dimitris Stamatakos, 36, is pictured with his wife Voula, 32, and son Elias, 1, in the living room of their home in the village of Krokeae, on March 18, 2012. Before the crisis Stamatakos was able to make a living by selling olives that he farmed on the land he owns, now he is forced to work for neighboring farms and do odd jobs to earn his living. The crisis is also putting a strain on his marriage to his wife Voula, 32. He says, "I fight with my wife a lot about money. She thinks I should be doing more. What more can I do? I'm just getting by." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #

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A blind protester shouts against anti-austerity measures during a protest near the Prime Ministers office in Athens, on February 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) #

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Asimina, a 70-year-old pensioner, gathers laundry on the terrace of her home with the ancient Acropolis seen in the background in Athens, on March 2, 2012. Asimina, who identified herself only by her first name, said she lives with her husband on a combined monthly income of 600 euros ($793) from a state pension, and says a series of emergency taxes imposed by the crisis-hit country's government have made daily life difficult. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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A man takes the stairs of the empty Athens metro station during a 4-hour strike on March 28, 2012 in protest of the austerity measures aiming at streamlining public transportation. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images) #

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(1 of 4) George Kapetanios (right) poses for a photograph with his wife Katarina Germanou (center) and their daughter Paraskevi Kapetanios in Potters Bar, on the outskirts of London, England, on March 5, 2012. Put out of business in Greece by a shrinking economy that has been crushed by the eurozone crisis, unable to find work at home and desperate to stay afloat financially, Kapetanios, his wife and daughter moved to London months ago so the parents could find work. Now they are hoping for a brief taste of their former family life when stepson Thanos Kehagias, who remained in Greece to finish his university studies, comes for a visit. (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #

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(2 of 4) George Kapetanios in the kitchen of Ta Dilina Greek restaurant in north London where he works as a chef, on February 29, 2012. (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #

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(3 of 4) Paraskevi Kapetanios poses for a photograph at a coffee shop in Potters Bar, on the outskirts of London, on March 5, 2012. Unable to find work at home in Greece, Paraskevi's parents moved to London months ago so they could find work. (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #

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(4 of 4) 23-year-old Thanos Kehagias holds his mother's dog Vagos as he poses for a picture outside his student flat close to the university where he is studying mechanical engineering in the Greek city of Patra, on March 26, 2012. Thanos Kehagias said he has made peace with his parents' decision to take his sister and leave him behind while they made a new start in London. He said he lives on just over 6 euros ($7.87) per day and can only afford one daily meal at the cheap university restaurant. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Clashes broke out this week between riot police and protesters outside the Greek Parliament where deputies are about to vote on a crucial austerity bill.

Riot police fired volleys of tear gas to push back protesters trying to overturn barriers, while the demonstrators pelted police with bottles and trash.

Greek deputies are set to back more austerity measures today as thousands of protesters vented their anger against a bill that has to be passed for the country to get crucial bailout funds and avoid a devastating default on its debts.

Riots Expected – Unemployment Offices Add Armed Guards As Benefits Run Out

 

Captured Blog: DNC ProtestsCaptured Blog: DNC ProtestsCaptured Blog: DNC Protests

Police Detain American Worker Looking For Employment

Captured Blog: DNC ProtestsCaptured Blog: DNC ProtestsCaptured Blog: DNC ProtestsCaptured Blog: DNC ProtestsCaptured Blog: DNC ProtestsCaptured Blog: DNC ProtestsCaptured Blog: DNC ProtestsRiots Erupt During Greek Financial Crisis

Captured: Greece Crisis

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A fire bomb explodes as riot police officers run to avoid the fire during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed to avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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A woman run next to riot police to avoid riots at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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Protesters run away from tear gas at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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Protesters run away from tear gas at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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Riot policemen arrest a protester during clashes in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011.Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining is Greece can avoid a potentially disastrous financial default in the coming weeks .(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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Protesters take cover from tear gas at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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Riot police clash with protesters in Syntagma square, central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece's lawmakers approved a key austerity bill Wednesday needed to avert default next month, despite a second day of rioting on the streets of Athens that left dozens of police and protesters injured. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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Protesters take cover from tear gas at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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A demonstrator faces riot police during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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Demonstrators stands in front of riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Angelos Tzortzinis #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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A Greek Orthodox priest drives his buggy next to riot police during clashes in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining is Greece can avoid a potentially disastrous financial default in the coming weeks .(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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Protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011. in Athens Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Angelos Tzortzinis #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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A tourist crosses the street as protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Alkis Konstantinidis #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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A man tends to a wounded protester lying on a street during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Alkis Konstantinidis #

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Protesters try to raise the aluminum shutters of a National Bank of Greece branch at Syntagma Square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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A protester throws a chair into a burning barricade at Syntagma square during a demonstration in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece's lawmakers approved a key austerity bill Wednesday needed to avert default next month, despite a second day of rioting on the streets of Athens that left dozens of police and protesters injured. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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Protestors clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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Protesters' first aid hold a flag with the red cross as a riot police officer looks on during clashes at Athens' main Syntagma square, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece's lawmakers approved a key austerity bill Wednesday needed to avert default next month, despite a second day of rioting on the streets of Athens that left dozens of police and protesters injured. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

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Riot police clashes with protesters in Syntagma square, central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece's lawmakers approved a key austerity bill Wednesday needed to avert default next month, despite a second day of rioting on the streets of Athens that left dozens of police and protesters injured. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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Demonstrators and police clash in front of the Greek Parliament on June 28, 2011 during a protest in Athens as part of a 48-hour general strike. Greece ground to a halt on June 28 as a 48-hour general strike began to bite against the bankruptcy-threatened government, which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros (17 billion US dollars) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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Demonstrators and police clash near the Greek Parliament on June 28, 2011 during a protest in Athens as part of a 48-hour general strike. Greece ground to a halt on June 28 as a 48-hour general strike began to bite against the bankruptcy-threatened government, which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros (17 billion US dollars) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE #

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Protesters runsaway from police during a 24-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS#

Captured: Greece Crisis

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A masked demonstrator throws a stone to riot police during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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Passers by run away from tear gas during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

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A demonstrator holds a bouquet of flowers with one hand and forming the 'V' sign with the other as she walks by riot police during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

26

Masked protestors hurl stones during clashes with riot police during a 24-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

Captured: Greece Crisis

27

Protester clash with riot police on the sideline of a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Angelos Tzortzinis #

Captured: Greece Crisis

28

A demonstrator throws stone to police during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

29

Protesters shout slogans as riot police stand in Athens' Syntagma square, Tuesday, June 28, 2011. Youths hurled rocks and fire bombs at riot police in central Athens on Tuesday as a general strike against new austerity measures brought the country to a standstill. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

30

Riot police detain a protester during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS#

Captured: Greece Crisis

31

Protesters throw stones at riot police during a demonstration in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Youths hurled rocks and fire bombs at riot police in central Athens on Tuesday as a general strike against new austerity measures brought the country to a standstill. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

32

A demonstrator with his face covered in a cream to guard against the effects of tear gas during a demonstration in Athens, Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

33

Protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS#

Captured: Greece Crisis

34

A photographer helps an injured protestor after clashes with police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Alkis Konstantinidis #

Captured: Greece Crisis

35

Protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS#

Captured: Greece Crisis

36

A protester shakes the hand of a riot policeman during a demonstration in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Youths hurled rocks and fire bombs at riot police in central Athens on Tuesday as a general strike against new austerity measures brought the country to a standstill. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

37

Demonstrators burn a cafe umbrella during a demonstration in Athens late Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed to avoid bankruptcy . (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

38

A laser light is shone into the eyes of a riot police officer by protesters during a demonstration in Athens, late Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed to avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

39

Protestors clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

Captured: Greece Crisis

40

Protestors clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / STR #

Captured: Greece Crisis

41

A riot policeman strikes a demonstrator trying to prevent deputies from reaching the Greek parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

42

A wounded protester is being led away from clashes with riot police as protesters tried to prevent deputies from reaching the Greek parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

43

Riot police clash with protestors during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS #

Captured: Greece Crisis

44

Riot police clash with protestors during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS #

Captured: Greece Crisis

45

A demonstrator runs from riot police after police dispersed protestors who tried to block roads leading to the Greek Parliament during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

Captured: Greece Crisis

46

A demonstrator lies on the ground as riot police police disperse protestors who tried to block roads leading to the Greek Parliament during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

Captured: Greece Crisis

47

A man drives with his dog past riot police blocking access to the Greek Parliament during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

Captured: Greece Crisis

48

Demonstrators clash with riot police outside the Greek Parliament on June 29, 2011 in Athens during a 48-hour general strike. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

Captured: Greece Crisis

49

A protester throws a stone at police at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

50

Demonstrators face riot police outside the Greek Parliament on June 29, 2011 in Athens during a 48-hour general strike. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE #

Captured: Greece Crisis

51

Demonstrators face riot police outside the Greek Parliament on June 29, 2011 in Athens during a 48-hour general strike. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE #

Captured: Greece Crisis

52

Riot police run to avoid stones at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote later Wednesday on a deeply unpopular finance austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

53

A demonstrator helps a wounded protestor outside the Greek Parliament on June 29, 2011 in Athens during a 48-hour general strike. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

Captured: Greece Crisis

54

A demonstrator stands behind a wall as protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Prime Minister Georges Papandreou said Wednesday Greece would do everything possible to avoid a debt default that would threaten the entire eurozone, moments before lawmakers were to vote on a new austerity package. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

Captured: Greece Crisis

55

iot policemen arrest a protester during clashes in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011.Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining is Greece can avoid a potentially disastrous financial default in the coming weeks .(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

56

Riot police lead away a protester they placed under arrest as another protester looks on from his seat during a demonstration in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies passed on Wednesday a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

57

A protester prepares to hit riot police with a stick during clashes at Syntagma square, central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece approved more austerity measures needed to avert default next month, in a vote Wednesday that calmed markets but triggered a second day of riots that left dozens injured and the capital blanketed with tear gas. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

58

A protester claps his hands in front of a riot policeman during a day of rioting in central Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 27, 2011. Greek police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the center of Athens as labor unions shut down government services before a vote by lawmakers on austerity measures that may determine if the nation can avoid a default. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg #

Captured: Greece Crisis

59

ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 28: Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against plans for new austerity measures on June 28, 2011 in Athens, Greece. Greece's largest labor unions have called for a 48-hour strike, while the Socialist government is beginning to push through legislation for cost cutting reforms. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) #

Captured: Greece Crisis

60

ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 28: Demonstrators clash with police during a protest against plans for new austerity measures on June 28, 2011 in Athens, Greece. Greece's largest labor unions have called for a 48-hour strike, while the Socialist government is beginning to push through legislation for cost cutting reforms. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) #

Riot policemen stand guard as petrol bombs explode in front of them during clashes with protesters outside the Greek parliament in Athens, Greece, on February 12, 2012. Greek police fired tear gas at petrol bomb-throwing protesters outside parliament, where tens of thousands had massed in a rally against austerity plans being debated by lawmakers. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

Riot policemen stand guard as petrol bombs explode in front of them during clashes with protesters outside the Greek parliament in Athens, Greece, on February 12, 2012. Greek police fired tear gas at petrol bomb-throwing protesters outside parliament, where tens of thousands had massed in a rally against austerity plans being debated by lawmakers. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

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2

Thousands of people take part in an anti-austerity demonstration in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) square, on February 12, 2012. Greek lawmakers looked set to endorse a new and deeply unpopular austerity deal on Sunday to secure a multi-billion-euro bailout and avert what Prime Minister Lucas Papademos warned would be "economic chaos." (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #

3

Greek communist party members wave party's flags after hanging banners in Greek and English denouncing EU policies under the temple of Parthenon at the Acropolis, on Saturday February 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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A Greek flag is waved while thousands of people take part in an anti-austerity demonstration in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) Square, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Panayiotis Tzamaros) #

5

A protester gestures at riot police during clashes outside the Greek parliament in Athens, on February 12, 2012. Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in the square outside Parliament as a parliamentary debate began, with more arriving constantly. As the crowds grew, a few hundred anarchists started to throw bottles and firebombs at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

6

A protester throws a petrol bomb toward riot police during clashes in Athens, on Friday, February 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

7

Riot police detain a protester during a 48-hour general strike in Athens, on February 10, 2012. Greek protesters threw stones and firebombs at riot police who responded with tear gas in Athens on February 10 as clashes erupted on the sidelines of a protest against new austerity cuts. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Protesters clash with riot police in Athens, on February 12, 2012. Protesters and police fought running battles in central Athens Sunday, as Greek lawmakers debated legislation that would introduce severe austerity measures to stave off bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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Demonstrators protect themselves from tear gas during violent protests in central Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) #

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A protester runs away from police during a violent anti-austerity demonstration in central Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #

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Protesters hurl fireworks at riot policemen during clashes in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #

12

A petrol bomb explodes among riot police during a huge anti-austerity demonstration in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) square, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #

13

Green laser pointers are aimed at riot police by demonstrators during violent protests in central Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yiorgos Karahalis) #

14

Riot police (not pictured) push protesters back near the ancient Temple of Zeus (background, illuminated), during clashes in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

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A riot police officer tries to extinguish flames from a petrol bomb thrown by protestors outside the Greek parliament in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

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A riot policeman tries to protect himself from a petrol bomb during a huge anti-austerity demonstration in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) square, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yiorgos Karahalis) #

17

A man rides his bicycle past a burning building in Athens during massive clashes on February 12, 2012. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images) #

18

Police clash with protestors in the street during a demonstration against the new austerity measures on February 12, 2012 in Athens, Greece. (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) #

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A riot policeman protects himself during riots around Syntagma square in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yiorgos Karahalis) #

20

Burning buildings around Syntagma (Constitution) square, during violent protests in central Athens, on February 12, 2012. Historic cinemas, cafes and shops went up in flames in central Athens on Sunday as black-masked protesters fought Greek police outside parliament, while inside lawmakers looked set to defy the public rage by endorsing a new EU/IMF austerity deal. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #

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A protester wearing a gas mask stands next to a burning bus ticket kiosk in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #

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A building on Stadiou Street is engulfed in flames during the demonstration against the new austerity measures in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Vladimir Rys/Getty Images) #

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Policemen stand in front of a burning building following violent anti-austerity protests in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Panayiotis Tzamaros)#

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A demonstrator holds a traffic sign during clashes between protesters and riot police near the Greek parliament in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A protester injured by policemen, during violent protests in central Athens February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #

26

Demonstrators throw firebombs at riot police during violent protests in central Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) #

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A petrol bomb explodes near riot police during an anti-austerity demonstration in Athens' Syntagma Square, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yiorgos Karahalis) #

28

A fireman tries to extinguish a burning cinema in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #

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A fireman tries to extinguish a fire burning inside a cinema in Athens February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #

30

Debris burns in the middle of the street during the demonstration against the new austerity measures on February 12, 2012 in Athens, Greece. (Vladimir Rys/Getty Images) #

31

A firefighter extinguishes the last of a fire in a smouldering building in central Athens, on Monday February 13, 2012. Firefighters are dousing smoldering structures and cleanup crews are sweeping rubble following a night of rioting in central Athens after lawmakers approved harsh new austerity measures demanded by bailout creditors to save the debt-crippled nation from bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) #

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Workers clear a burned out cafe in central Athens, on Monday February 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) #

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A firefighter extinguishes the charred remains of one of the capital's oldest restored cinemas in central Athens, on Monday February 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

34

A man walks past the Bank of Greece headquarters with the plaque altered to read "Bank of Berlin", in Athens, on February 13, 2012. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images) #

35

A shopkeeper cleans up her damaged shop the morning after violent protests took place against the Government's austerity plans in Athens, on February 13, 2012. (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) #

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A burn-out building in central Athens, after violent protests the night before, seen on February 13, 2012. Global markets began climb after Greek lawmakers approved radical budget cuts vital to secure a 130 billion euro rescue package aimed at averting bankruptcy. According to official figures, 45 buildings were wholly or partly destroyed by fire as violence erupted during demonstrations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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