Sunday, 12 February 2012

Athens burns while Greek MPs debate EU austerity demands

Greek MPs are currently debating the EU's austerity demands while outside their parliament building, thousands of Greeks are rioting.

There has been so much violent unrest in Athens today that the Greek police have run out of tear gas and are asking for more supplies.  There is an unconfirmed report that the EU's private paramilitary, Eurogendfor - known to have been in Greece since the end of last year - are in Athens.

There are apparently at least 12 buildings on fire in the vicinity of the Greek parliament, including 2 banks and a Starbucks.  Metro stations near the parliament building have been closed by the police to keep protesters away but there are a few small groups of protesters milling round, presumably waiting for something to happen.  Worryingly, the Communist Party seem to be the most effective group at mobilising supporters on the streets and the Communist-affiliated PACE union have announced their intention to fill Syntagma Square where the parliament building is located with protesters tonight.

There is considerable opposition to the austerity bill in the Greek parliament, although not as much as there is on the streets of Athens.  The bill is unlikely to fail because nobody has the balls to admit that Greece has to default and leave the EU and the €urozone to survive but it is likely to bring down the government in the process.

You can follow events on the Athens News website and live cams are available here and here (cams are going up and down).