Protests Against Spending Cuts in Greece

Posted June 15th, 2011 at 6:55 am (UTC-5)
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Greek police and protesters clashed as thousands of people filled a central square in Athens to protest new austerity measures on Wednesday.

Police fired tear gas at protesters in Syntagma Square and erected barricades in front of parliament to allow lawmakers to enter the facility to debate another round of deep spending cuts. Protest groups were attempting to form a human chain around the building to block entry before police intervened.

A general strike has crippled Greece’s public transport, media, and state-run hospitals. But air traffic controllers have decided not to take part in the work stoppage.

European Union officials say Greek politicians must agree on more spending cuts and tax hikes if Greece is to get another economic bailout.

But many ordinary Greeks are angry that they are being asked to make more sacrifices.

Last year’s $160 billion bailout from the EU and International Monetary Fund has done little to help Greece climb out of its deep debt.

Monday, the financial services company Standard & Poor’s cut Greece’s credit rating from B to CCC, putting it at the very bottom of the S&P rating list.