Greece hit by general strike

You knew this was coming. Unlike Americans, the Greeks aren't going to take this lying down.

(Bloomberg) -- Greek police fired tear-gas and clashed with demonstrators in central Athens after a march organized by unions to oppose Prime Minister George Papandreou’s drive to cut the European Union’s biggest budget deficit.
“People on the street will send a strong message to the government but mainly to the European Union, the markets and our partners in Europe that people and their needs must be above the demands of markets,” Yiannis Panagopoulos, president of the private-sector union GSEE, told NET TV yesterday. “We didn’t create the crisis.”
Half a million civil servants, who held a one-day strike on Feb. 10, today joined forces with GSEE, which represents 2 million workers, after EU warnings that Papandreou’s government needs to bring in new taxes and make more spending cuts if it fails to rein in the largest budget gap of all 27 EU member states.
Air-traffic controllers, customs and tax officials, train drivers, doctors at state-run hospitals and school teachers walked off the job to protest government spending cuts that will freeze salaries and hiring and cut bonuses. Journalists also joined the strike, creating a media blackout.

The violence might get the media attention, but the fact is that almost all of the protesters were peaceful.

"There is an all-out war against public servants, those who earn the least," said Spyros Papaspyros president of ADEDY, an umbrella union for public-sector workers. "We will fight to keep the little we have. The government and the EU must understand the crisis must be paid by the rich."

Hmmm. A war on public servants. That sounds very familiar to what is going on in America today.
The current government is only in power because of protests and riots last year caused the collapse of the previous government. It'll be interesting to see if this government will be able to stand up to the demands of the public.

Meanwhile, protests are sweeping Spain as well.

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they are attacking labor in a PR campaign from hell

So absurd, when the real cause for a lot of Greek woes is ...our pal derivatives.

It's this insane global finance, currency swaps, selling off public assets which don't show up on the books as loans...

I do not know how much of this is Greece's woe cause so that would be a hellish post, to see what percentage of their current debt is due to derivatives and "creative" finance.

Yeah, the entire global agenda makes me feel very CT, but it seems to be all about destroying any worker security, send all middle classes to serfdom and return to some sort of 1800's uber rich and the proletariat class.

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Greek money flees nation

The wealthy of Greece aren't waiting for the hammer to fall. They are getting their money out now.

Wealthy Greeks are pulling their money out of local banks and sending it abroad, fearing increased government scrutiny on assets and a run on the banks if Athens is forced to turn to the International Monetary Fund, according to private bankers and other people with knowledge of the situation.
"Some of our clients are concerned about a run on the banks if the IMF gets involved," said another private banker, this one from a foreign bank. "They believe the situation in Greece will get worse before it gets better. There is also very little clarity from the government about its intentions on new tax measures."
"We estimate that €8 billion has moved out of Greece to accounts abroad since December. It's money from bank accounts, stock sales, property sales and other sources," he said, adding that that represented a substantial chunk of the €30 billion under management in Greek's private banks.
Wealthy individuals may have good reasons to be concerned, however. Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou earlier this month urged Greeks with accounts abroad to repatriate their money and said the capital will be taxed at a 5% rate. He said those who choose to keep their money abroad should declare their deposits and pay a tax of 8% for the first six months.

Eight billion euros may now sound like much, but there are only 30 billion euros in deposits in the Greek banking system.

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