Euro Crisis

Anti-Austerity Protests in Greece Turn Violent


Anti-austerity protests in Athens turned violent today, with so-called "anarchists" being blamed for much of the vandalism and rioting outside the Greek parliament.

The protests came on a day of strikes, with workers demonstrating against 11.6 billion euros worth of cuts. Without the implementation of austerity measures Greece's future bailouts could be put in jeopardy. Among the unpopular proposals being considered by the Greek government are pension cuts and raising the retirement age.

Much of the anger is being aimed at the troika of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank. Representatives from the troika are expected to release the findings of their Greek audit later this month or the beginning of October (though some think the release could be even later than that). If the audit finds that Greece is not cutting enough spending and failing to make necessary privatizations then a bailout becomes less likely and Greece will almost certainly have to default on its debt.

The BBC reported on the frustration and anger of Greeks:

An estimated 50,000 people joined Wednesday's protests, including doctors, teachers, tax workers, ferry operators and air traffic controllers.

Banks and historic sites in Athens remained shut, with many shopkeepers expected to close up early so they could attend demonstrations.

Schools and government services also closed down, though buses were still running, reportedly to help ferry people to the protests.

"We can't take it anymore—we are bleeding. We can't raise our children like this," Dina Kokou, a teacher, told Reuters news agency.

"We won't submit to the troika!" and "EU, IMF out!", "People, fight, they're drinking your blood," protesters chanted.

Unfortunately for the protesting Greeks they cannot keep with the spending and remain in the eurozone, despite what leftist leaders like Alexis Tsipras would like them to believe.  The Greek fiasco has been dragged on for too long thanks mainly to political, not economic, concerns. The seemingly inevitable divorce from the eurozone will be more painful as a result.

NEXT: Castrated Men Live Longer

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. At first I thought that headline read anti-austerity protests in Greece turn violet. But no, it was violent.

    1. What, are they into choking?

    2. Oompa

    3. “Why won’t they show violins on television?”
      “That’s violence, Ms. Latella. Violence.”

  2. Never hear about minarchists turning violent. Those anarchists, though. . . .

    1. That’s because anarchists are fucking animals; minarchists, not so much.

      1. This isn’t much fun without Episiarch around.

        1. Yeah, they’re anarchists. Anarchists who want more government handouts. Even by media standards, calling anti-austerity protesters “anarchists” is so fucking stupid it makes my head hurt.

          1. If it makes you feel better, it offends me, too.

            Anarchists who want more archy!

            1. At least they want it in their native language.

            2. Semiarchists? Ananarchists?

              1. hamilton| 9.26.12 @ 4:48PM |#


                Ananarchists = people who believe society should be ruled by a banana

                1. I suggest mahnamahnanarchists.

                  1. So you’re into the whole Gay-Ruled Society? Interesting.

          2. What makes my head hurt is that in the rare circumstance where I tell someone I’m an anarchist they assume I mean I’m one of these fuckers.

            I’m like no, for realsies.

          3. I remember when MNG argued with me for an entire day claiming that because the word “anarchist” had been misapplied to protests like this so frequently, that was now the new definition, and the old definition no longer applied.

            1. No, actually these people fit the original understanding of the word.

          4. But this has long been the case for many anarchists, so it’s time to remove the label “so-called”.

            Basically, a lot of anarchists — probably most of them — are primarily opposed to property or at least to its use (as opposed to the use of non-property) as capital. (This has been the case ever since the term “anarchist” gained currency.) In the judgement of many of them, it is appropriate under present circumstances to use gov’t against property, while the project of getting rid of gov’t is put on the back burner.

    2. Seriously, I’m surprised it took this long for things to get violent. More to come, I fear.

      1. They’re cutting the gubmint funded anarchist training programs. What did the expect?

        1. Something that you hear from leftists, occasionally, is that we have to have massive social welfare programs to keep the poor from taking to the streets and, eventually, overthrowing government.

          While I think that’s crap in the U.S., which doesn’t have the soul-crushing poverty of other nations or the common limits on upward mobility found elsewhere, to the extent that it is true, I’ve always thought a major fallacy in that argument is that giving goodies beyond your ability to pay will ultimately create a class that feels entitled to those goodies. . .which will revolt if the goodies don’t keep coming.

          1. IOW, progressives think of social welfare as a sort of protection racket.

            1. It’s a fairly common refrain, though I’m not sure they typically bellow that point on the airwaves.

              Personally, I think a free-market economy coupled with a government that recognizes and protects life, liberty, and property is well-inoculated against revolution.

              1. I agree. Progressives, on the other hand, think non-progressives and poor people are animals who have no desire for rights.

                1. I think that’s where they fail, when they fail. Even poor Americans aren’t totally willing to give up their rights, even for gravy. Not all of them, anyway.

            2. Wait, what? I’m not getting a handout because I’m not poor enough? That makes me so MAD.

          2. Pro Libertate| 9.26.12 @ 4:33PM |#

            Something that you hear from leftists, occasionally, is that we have to have massive social welfare programs to keep the poor from taking to the streets and, eventually, overthrowing government

            something that really transformed me into a proper ‘classical liberal’ was when I solved the puzzle about spoiled middle class liberal kids and why they always seem to be spouting off about how much they empathize with and want to help ‘the poor’ (whom they have no contact with whatsoever) – and meanwhile, ‘the poor’ tend to disregard the Helping Hand Liberals as being totally clueless and in every case spurn their protests, marches, and political agendas…

            It seemed confusing to me until i realized = liberals, just like the original bolshies, fundamentally despise ‘the poor’, despite all their rhetoric. Most of their ‘social programs’ arent intended to actually “help” these people escape their class – they’re intended to perpetuate them. Welfare wasnt’ a *failed* program = it was designed to keep people dependent. and so on.

            You will hardly ever find a liberal who will consciously admit this = however, every now and then you run into an honest socialist. They’re like unapologetic racists = sort of refreshing in a way, compared to the bullshit equivocating mealy mouthed liberal.

            1. I quoted Bastiat on this point (from The Law, which I just read) earlier today. Statists see the masses as a means to an end, not appreciating that those people are individuals, just as smart and capable on average as they are.

            2. Yeah, I’ve found that the more of a bleeding heart liberal a person is, the more cynical. They just don’t like people. When they talk about how much we need to help “the poor”, I wonder if there isn’t some level of projection going on.

              1. I can see using force to prevent people from harming others–laws against theft, violence, etc. What I don’t see are laws to control human behavior beyond that. Who are these people that they should decide how I should live?

                1. Pro Libertate| 9.26.12 @ 5:05PM |#

                  I can see using force to prevent people from harming others

                  Thats why you totally pepper-sprayed that 14yr old girl for hurting your gay boyfriend’s feelings

                  1. Yes, slippery slopes abound, don’t they?

            3. My dead friend David Lindelof believed in perpetual favors by mostly white populations (via their gov’ts) for blacks because blacks are genetically inferior and therefore in aggregate would always need help to approach equality.

          3. Of course for some reason this didn’t happen before the Great Society, when there was almost no welfare besides Social Security (and are geezers really going to revolt and cause chaos?). But this mindset does show how progressives really feel about the lower classes

            1. Well, there were radical (terrorism-prone) socialists who called themselves anarchists, which I imagine Bioshock Infinite will cover if it ever comes out. But they were the old school socialists that believed that the workers should control the means of production and took investment and capital growth for granted, not the modern variant that believe the welfare recipients and trust fund graduate students should control the means of consumption and treat economic productivity as a whole for granted.

              Shit, fucking everything political is degenerate these days. As awful as socialists were, the modern variant is pathetic. Keynes was flawed, and tax and spend was worse, but spend and then spend more is insane. Capitalists are all corporate cronies, and libertarians are a circular firing squad. Our war machine is bigger than ever and our liberties are as threatened as under our biggest wars, and all to do with the existential threat not of Hitler, or Mao, or Stalin, or zombie cyborg Genghis Khan, but some provincial goat-fuckers whose crowning military achievement was blowing up a handful of buildings.

              Fuck 21st century politics.

  3. Man, you would think with all these riots they could employ half the country as riot police. Unemployment crisis solved!

    1. Plus, bonus broken windows!

      1. A general European war would create lots and lots and lots of jobs and broken stuff.

        1. Easy now! You’ll give Krugnuts another episode of priapism.

          1. Here’s a question: Where would we be if there had been no world wars? Assuming for the moment that no major wars took their place?

            I’m thinking bases on Titan at a minimum. We wasted trillions, people, and lost lots of people and stuff.

            1. Hell, where would be be if ceasar hadn’t burned Alexandria….

              1. My point is that the idea that World War II, for example, created some great economic boom completely ignores the opportunity cost. What would we have done with the wealth wasted on the war itself and the further great wealth wasted on rebuilding everything? Not to mention the money, lives, and stuff lost?

            2. Pro Libertate| 9.26.12 @ 4:36PM |#

              Here’s a question: Where would we be if there had been no world wars?

              That was an unpublished Philip K Dick novel. It was called, “Bored”

            3. I’m not so sure. There’s the competing idea that conflict breeds technological innovation. What we would lose not having war, who knows?

              1. Not that much, I think. I’d say economic competition is an excellent mechanism for innovation. Better than the kind that involves blowing shit up.

                1. No doubt, perhaps rapid innovation is a better term.

                  1. So instead of capitalism, we should have bellism.

                    1. With the Federal Army Reserve allocating destruction to stimulate economic growth.

                2. economic competition is an excellent mechanism for innovation. Better than the kind that involves blowing shit up

                  This is debateable

                  Fact is, the history of ‘technology’ is mostly a history of ‘trying to kill the other guy’

                  That, and most ‘science’ came about from trying to get drunk

                  So – sadly, ‘getting laid’ is only the third most powerful innovating force. Killing people and getting wasted predominate.

                3. Not that much, I think. I’d say economic competition is an excellent mechanism for innovation. Better than the kind that involves blowing shit up.

                  I think we’d be missing a lot more than you think. War is an incredibly powerful innovation spur.

                  But just to pick one little example, we now have nukes because of WWII. It is highly unlikely we’ll have another WW until somebody renders nukes inoperable. That’s going to take a long, long time.

                  What big huge wars have been avoided because we now have nukes?

              2. Especially WWII…I mean the Germans we snatched up in 1945 practically built NASA on the backs of the missile programs designed to pull Hitler’s ass out of the fire he jumped into.

                1. War created a form of demand, but we were on the verge of rocketry, nuclear power, computing, and other breakthroughs prior to the war. I doubt seriously we’d have accomplished any of those things much later without the war, and, with the much greater wealth and industrial capacity we’d have had without everything getting blown up and rebuilt, could have exploited those technologies much more effectively.

                  1. YOUR DOUBT MEANS NOTHING

                    Your argument is pretty specious… would you say the Chinese would *still* have built the Great Wall if there were no hordes of Mongolians perpetually threating to overrun their lands and rape their women?

                    1. No, I’m not suggesting the exact same breakthroughs at the exact same time. For instance, even with nuclear power, the bomb might not have been developed as soon as it was. Ditto things like jet technology.

                      But would the useful developments have come that much later? Or enough later to offset the horrific economic damage done by the war?

                      It’s not opportunity cost; it’s opportunity Armageddon.

                    2. time. For instance, even with nuclear power, the bomb might not have been developed as soon as it was

                      Necessity, Invention, Your Mother

                    3. So, no bomb. Everything else.

                    4. Transformation of us industrial economy, mr Ewinn Starr

                    5. The Era of Good God Y’all Feelings.

  4. “We can’t take it anymore – we are bleeding. We can’t raise our children like this.”

    So she’s demanding that someone else be bled. Social Contract!

  5. We can’t raise our children like this.

    We can’t raise our children as unemployed wards of the state? I’m sure that’s true. I’m not sure that MOAR STATE! is the answer, though.

  6. I’m Greek! Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

  7. Nothing gets people out like derailing the .gov gravy train.

    Fukin’ Sad.

  8. Violent leftists burning shit down. Not surprising.

  9. This is what happens when foreign lenders start dictating to one’s government. A peek ahead to what America will look like when China
    starts calling the tune.

  10. An estimated 50,000 people joined Wednesday’s protests, including doctors, teachers, tax workers, ferry operators and air traffic controllers.

    These are exactly the people who should be getting a pay cut. They benefited immensely from the salary raises during a boom that wasn’t.

  11. lol let the mall kill each other, who cares.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.