By The Associated Press - Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 0 Comments
ATHENS, Greece – Greek lawmakers have approved the country’s 2013 austerity budget, an essential…
ATHENS, Greece – Greek lawmakers have approved the country’s 2013 austerity budget, an essential step in Greece’s efforts to persuade its international creditors to unblock a vital rescue loan installment without which the country will go bankrupt.
The approval by majority vote early Monday comes four days after a separate bill of deep spending cuts and tax hikes over the next two years squeaked past with a narrow majority in the 300-member Parliament following severe disagreements among the three parties in the governing coalition.
Finance ministers from the 17 eurozone countries meet in Brussels later Monday, with Greece high on the agenda.
But German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said international creditors won’t be rushed into approving the loan disbursement.
By Stavroula Logothettis - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 3:09 PM - 0 Comments
Bloody attacks against minorities have spiked as Golden Dawn rises
A year ago, Musta Amid paid human traffickers to smuggle him to Greece over the Turkish border—the most porous in Europe. “All I want is to work,” said the 19-year-old Nigerian, sitting on a commuter train bound for Athens, where he sells handmade crafts. A Greek in his twenties, sitting nearby, apparently angered by his story, interjected: “Why should you monkeys have work when I don’t? I’ve been unemployed for a year. This is my country and if anyone should have work, it should be me.” The conversation on the suburban train, as it whizzed past an endless stream of graffiti supporting Hrisi Avgi, or Golden Dawn, Greece’s extreme-right party, emboldened a tough-looking, elderly man. “The Turks should’ve drowned you like rats,” he snarled. “Greece is for Greeks. Get out and take everyone like you with you. Golden Dawn will show you the way with a kick in the ass!”
Two years ago, blatantly racist outbursts like these would have been inconceivable in Greece. But the economic crisis has given rise to a dangerous new form of nationalism—and Golden Dawn, which captured its first seat on Athens city council two years ago, is perfectly placed to take advantage. In June, the once-marginal extremist party won 18 parliamentary seats in Greece’s general election. It campaigned against austerity measures and immigration—what the party spokesperson calls a government conspiracy to turn Greece into a “wretched protectorate inhabited by subhumans with no conscience, no country and no national culture.”
Such statements contribute to the marked increase in violence and intimidation directed at Greece’s immigrants. In a recent report, Human Rights Watch warned that xenophobic violence in Greece has reached “alarming proportions,” and accused Greek authorities of doing nothing to stop the attacks.
By macleans.ca - Friday, January 13, 2012 at 11:42 AM - 0 Comments
Athens one step closer to full-scale default
Negotiations on how to restructure Greece’s oversized sovereign debt unexpectedly collapsed on Friday, increasing the likelihood that Athens will become the first government of a developed economy to default on its debt in over six decades, the Financial Times reports. Lead negotiators for holders of Greek government bonds wrote in a statement that not all parties could agree on the latest offer made by Athens. The note is believed to be a reference to the fact that a proposed second Greek bailout worth $130 billion would require Greek bondholders to accept losses amounting to well over 50 per cent of the face value of their bonds.