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IMF-EU Brokered Greek Bailout Plan might Unravel sooner than you think

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Greece agreed on a plan with EU-IMF which requires sharp spending cuts and tax increases on Sunday to get their hands of more than 100 billion Euros of support. But Greece is no Iceland or Latvia where the people will live with massively painful cuts on their standard of living. Strikes and protests are increasing on a ever larger scale to protest against these spending cuts. Lots of Greeks might question if it is they who are being bailout out or is it the financial institutions of Greece. It might make more sense to restructure their debt and get out of the European Union than continue and be wasted by the tax increases.The mass social protests will also not do anything to improve the GDP with both tourism and foreign investment taking a big hit . I think this plan might unravel sooner than later on .Read about the large scale protests in Greece.

Greek State Workers Escalate Protests at Budget Cuts – Bloomberg

Greek government workers shut down schools and hospitals and disrupted flights as demonstrators occupied the Acropolis in an escalation of protests against 30 billion euros ($40 billion) of additional wage cuts and tax increases unveiled this week.

The ADEDY union federation, which represents more than 500,000 civil servants having their pensions and pay slashed under measures announced May 2 by Prime Minister George Papandreou, will hold a rally at midday joined by striking teachers. A general strike, the third this year, is planned for tomorrow, with private-sector workers due to participate.

“Protests will increase,” said Spyros Papaspyros, the head of ADEDY. “Opting for the easy path of cutting wages and pensions can’t be accepted.”

Papandreou has called on Greeks to endure more sacrifices in return for an unprecedented 110 billion-euro bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The austerity measures, called “savage” by union groups, include a second set of wage cuts for public workers, a three-year freeze on pensions and a second increase this year in sales taxes and the price of fuel, alcohol and tobacco.

Protesters from the Communist Party of Greece draped banners over the walls of the ancient Acropolis citadel in Athens today that said “Peoples of Europe Rise Up” in Greek and English, as tourists took photographs. Unemployed teachers yesterday disrupted the evening news show on state-run NET TV.

‘Terrorizing’ Tourists

Government spokesman George Petalotis condemned the occupation of the Acropolis, saying on NET TV that such protests “aimed to destroy tourism to Greece by terrorizing foreign visitors.”

Fifty-one percent of Greeks say they won’t accept new austerity measures and would join protests against them, according to a poll of 1,000 people by ALCO for Proto Thema newspaper. That compared with 33 percent who would accept them. No margin of error was given for the poll, which was conducted from April 27 to April 29.

Most Greeks feel anger and dismay rather than relief over Papandreou’s decision to request emergency loans, a separate survey showed. Just 14.8 percent of the 1,256 people polled by Kappa Research April 28-29 for To Vima newspaper felt relief or hope after the move, compared with 31 percent who answered “anger,” 30.6 percent “disappointment or fear” and 22.8 percent who said they felt “shame.” The margin of error for the poll was 2.6 percentage points.

Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Hieronymos, the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church, said the Church, which represents most of the 11 million Greeks, would stand by the “battered Greek people” and urged “unity, strength and optimism,” according to the state-run Athens News Agency.

Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said the government plans to submit legislation on the latest budget cuts to parliament today. Papandreou has a 10-seat majority in parliament, enabling the government to push through the measures.

Electricity Company

Tomorrow’s general strike could disrupt public transport, air traffic, ferry sailings and other services as workers from shopkeepers to sportswriters walk off the job. Employees at Public Power Corp SA, the state-controlled electricity company, also will strike.

An air-traffic controllers’ strike will mean all flights at the Athens International Airport, the country’s biggest, will be cancelled. Greek carriers Aegean Airlines SA, which cancelled 17 flights for today, and Olympic Airlines SA won’t operate any flights tomorrow.

Some economists say the worst is yet to come. Paul Mylonas, chief economist at National Bank of Greece, anticipates social unrest “will be muted this year” and could grow as the austerity measures continue into the coming years.

“The risk is more for ‘adjustment fatigue’ going down the road,” Mylonas said. “There’s a higher risk of social opposition for further reforms in 2011 and 2012 if light doesn’t begin to appear at the end of the tunnel.”


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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