warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Rioters Torch Athens After Greece Passes Bailout Plan

Benjamin Gottlieb, Hannah Madans |
February 12, 2012 | 3:46 p.m. PST

Executive Editor & Executive Producer

[View the story "Athens Burns After Austerity Deal Passed In Greece" on Storify]

Enraged protesters in Greece burned buildings and clashed with law enforcement in Athens Sunday after Greek lawmakers passed a widely unpopular austerity deal to curtail the nation's exorbitant debt. Some protestors attacked police with firebombs, The Daily Beast reported.

The bill accepts help from the EU (courtesy Creative Commons).
The bill accepts help from the EU (courtesy Creative Commons).
The plan, lead by Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, will cut $4.35 billion in wages, pensions and jobs to encourage European Union and IMF leaders to deliver a fiscal “rescue package” in March, according to The Daily Beast. If awarded, the package would be Greece’s second EU/IMF bailout.

As parliament convened, some protestors chanted “traitor.” Several were injured and buildings were set on fire.

The violence in Athens was reported by Reuters:

Cinemas, cafes, shops and banks were set ablaze in central Athens as black-masked protesters fought riot police outside parliament.

State television reported the violence spread to the tourist islands of Corfu and Crete, the northern city of Thessaloniki and towns in central Greece. Shops were looted in the capital where police said 34 buildings were ablaze.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos denounced the worst breakdown of order since 2008 when violence gripped Greece for weeks after police shot a 15-year-old schoolboy.

"Vandalism, violence and destruction have no place in a democratic country and won't be tolerated," he told parliament as it prepared to vote on the new 130 billion euro bailout to save Greece from a chaotic bankruptcy.

Papademos told lawmakers shortly before they voted that they would be gravely mistaken if they rejected the package that demands deep pay, pension and job cuts, as this would threaten Greece's place in the European mainstream.

"It would be a huge historical injustice if the country from which European culture sprang ... reached bankruptcy and was led, due to one more mistake, to national isolation and national despair," he said.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.