Austerity has to be fought. And at least the Greeks have the gumption, along with a measure of desperation, to pack the streets.
Tens of thousands of Greeks joined the a second nationwide strike in three weeks on Thursday, moving to bring the country to a near-standstill in a bid to show European Union leaders meeting in Brussels that fresh austerity cuts being demanded by Greece’s lenders would cripple society and further depress an already battered economy.
Protest rallies began peacefully but were disrupted when demonstrators broke away from the crowd near Syntagma Square outside Parliament and threw rocks, bottles and firebombs at the police, who responded with tear gas. A crowd estimated by the police at around 15,000 people thinned out, some with tears streaming from their eyes. A rally by the Communist Party drew another 7,000 people, according to a police spokeswoman.
Unions said the turnout was about 40,000 people, double the official estimate.
Basically, the people are being held hostage by the so-called “Troika”: the European Commission, The European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In return for a loan, the people must accept brutal austerity.