Mass protests in Greece against the government and the IMF

Article published on Feb. 24, 2011
Article published on Feb. 24, 2011
Thousands ofprotesters gathered  yesterday at Syndagma Square, in front of the Hellenic Parliament, in the largest mass protest against the Troika (EU/IMF/ECB) and the austerity measures enforced by the government. According to the police the number of the demonstrators reached 30,000, while trade and labour unions speak of  80,000 demonstrators.
Impressively enough Reuters referred to 100,000 people! This was the first huge demonstration since the December 2008 riots. Teargas was used against demonstrators who tried to make stay at Syndagma square following the example of Tahrir Square in Cairo. Some protesters unfolded a black banner reading "We are dying" in front of parliament, while street-fights took place since some anarchists took advantage of the situation and started to break and throw marbles against the police.The country was literally paralyzed yesterday since both public and private sector employes were striking for 24 hours. Schools, airports, public transport and shops were closed. Fresh slogans hit the streets along with protesters. “Pasok is here to rob the people” , “Yiorgaki (Little George) wear your athletic gear, we are coming to hunt you down”, “Jeffry go back to Minnesota” were some of those that could be heard outside the Parliament at Syntagma square. Protesters stayed at the square till late shouting ''Jeffry go back to Minnesota'' or ''Pasok is here to rob the people''.  Yannis Tsourounakis, a 60-year old man, father of three children and unemployed said to Athens news : The Socialist government cut salaries and raised taxes last year despite people's protests, in order to secure the 110 billion euro bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The updated Memorandum between Greece and the Troika, involves more structural reforms and privatizations, in order for the country to receive the next 15 billions, in order to avoid bankruptcy. 

“We’ve reached our limits! We can't make ends meet. Our future is a nightmare if we don't overturn these policies."Photos by Athensnews.gr