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May-05-2010 19:00printcomments

Greece is Spent, Rioting Leads to Two Deaths, Bank Set Ablaze

Greece is nearly broke.

Police in Greece
Police in Greece

(ATHENS / SALEM) - At least three people in Greece have have been killed during riotous protests, as rioters set fire to a bank building, perhaps the most alarming news yet.

Russia TV reports that thousands have taken to the streets in Athens in opposition to the harsh spending cuts, which are part of a new austerity package that is designed to save Greece from bankruptcy.

Workers marched to the parliament, they clashed with police, and many blame the government for cutting wages and pensions.

The Guardian UK is calling this Europe's gravest modern crisis, and Germany warned that the EU's future was on the line in the Greek emergency.

The increasing tension over Greece's ballooning debts and Europe's first national bailout under the single currency is exposing fundamental questions about both the European Union, and Germany's position as the union's biggest power.

Raw footage of protests from Russian TV

Chancellor Angela Merkel drew her share of ire over news that Berlin would provide €22bn a lifeline to the Greeks next week.

Leaders are concerned over what this really means for the EU, and they are insisting on a punitive new regime for the 16 euro countries if the monetary union is to survive.

The Guardian reports, "The leaders of the eurozone's 16 nations are to assemble for an emergency summit on the Greek crisis in Brussels on Friday evening, with the mood bleak and the stakes high."

Here in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal is reporting that both investors and policymakers are feeling a growing concern over the economic crisis in Greece. They believe it could find its way across the Atlantic where it would potentially undermine the current U.S. economic recovery effort, as the 2008 U.S. housing market plunge strongly affected Europe's economy.

Their article quotes Harvard economist Jeffrey Frankel saying, "What we have seen is that contagion".

So for now, investors are keep an eye open to these developments, even before the situation gets worse, in hope of staving off as much of an economic impact as possible.

The draft bill of the new austerity package will be voted on by the end of the week.

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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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Dexter May 5, 2010 9:01 pm (Pacific time)

" Germany warned that the EU's future was on the line in the Greek emergency."  What has this country given anyone when it comes to being part of the EU?, Oh wait, hang on, I remember... an almost huge deficit when it came to borrowing huge amounts of EU subsidy that they could not afford to pay back in the first place!, it almost drained the rest of Europe when it first joined.  These people are like legalized gypsy gigolos that despise any outsiders like they were the Roman Empire in the "yeee old days". These people have been moaning and busting Great Britain’s balls since the cheap package holidays first came to existence back in the 70's. They have a huge inferiority complex that explains their so called cold shoulder behavior when it comes down to being involved in anyway that is related to the Greeks (try dating any of their girls is one HUGE sad example). Or how about a few years ago, a bunch of English plane spotters were arrested while watching their crappy budgeted Air Force fly over (no doubt flying over the local tourist beaches to show off, as there is nothing else important to do in their lives, apart from making Greek salads for the tourists). I have a personal issue about the Greeks and their cold shoulder behavioiur towards 98 percent of the world. They all say they can survive with the best of them, but when the crap hits the fan like this story has just shown, then they come running to the EU like spoilt little children that realized that the candy shop has just closed (Candy shop being the EU saying "enough is enough"). They need to bite the bullet and accept who they really are. Stop pretending that you are all gods gift to everyone, and accept the financial position that you are in. As long as you lot stay arrogant to that perception , then most countries will not touch you, let alone invest in you with a 10 foot barge pole!.  I know the Greeks hate the English as well as the French, and the Americans, BUT!, if you look at most of the outside investment going on including EU hand outs, most of that “financial hand out” came from those countries!!!. If you ask me, that’s some expensive olive oil that you are selling over there!.

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