The situation in Greece: With Parliament set to vote today on austerity measures that would raise $17 billion for the cash-strapped government, protestors lobbed Molotov cocktails at police, who answered with giant fire hoses.
The austerity bill, expected to pass by the narrowest margin, would be Greece’s third in four years, raise the retirement age to 67 from 65, lead to layoffs of civil servants and benefit cuts for private sector employees.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is believed to have 154 votes for the austerity bill in the 300-member Parliament, according to reports.
Meanwhile Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left-wing opposition party Syriza, called the European bailouts “completely catastrophic, outrageously absurd, and an utter failure” while another Syriza member opined, “It is easier for someone to believe in Father Christmas than to believe that these will be the last [austerity] measures.”
It’s not difficult to sympathize with that latter sentiment: We’d find the below video (h/t BI) of today’s riots a lot more shocking if we didn’t feel as if we’d seen them before.