The Greek crisis continued today with the second day of a 48-hour general strike and demonstrations in Syntagma Square called by the country's two main unions, the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) and the Civil Servants Union (ADEDY).
The government of Lucas Papademos lost six ministers who resigned in protest over the new demands of the EC-ECB-IMF Troika. This includes the fact that the Laos party led by Yiorgos Karatzaferis walked out of the government saying he would refuse to vote for the new memorandum on Feb. 12. "Humiliation was imposed on us. I will not tolerate this... no matter how hungry I might be," he said.
Papademos impotently warned of "uncontrolled economic chaos" if Greece defaults.
The two remaining government parties, PASOK and New Democracy, held meetings ahead of the Sunday, Feb. 12, Parliamentvote in an attempt to get full party support but Athens News reports that as many 50 MPs could defy party discipline and vote against the measure. This would not stop it, but would have a strong symbolic effect.
The idiot Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Junker said that Greek political leaders will have to sign statements "boldly" committing themselves to forever obey the dictates of the Memorandum.
All the media are filled with the stories reported in today's briefing, the rage at Germany, the Greek police threatening to arrest the Troika representatives. Bild, Germany's mass tabloid has an interview with Vicky Leandros, a Greek singer who is very popular throughout Europe and especially in Germany. She talks of her shock and despair at the situation in Greece including meeting with children at the SOS Children's Village, whose poverty-stricken parents can no longer afford to take care of them, something unheard of in pre-Troika Greece. "I would not have believed it in my Greece could ever get that far," Leandros told Bild. "For several months I was not in Greece, then I went to Athens — and the encounters have shaken me." She goes on to tell the sharp contrast between pre-Troika and post-Troika Greece with all the horror stories, the rising homelessness, out-of-control drug addiction, and crime, and hundreds of Greeks lining up at a church soup kitchen in the center of Athens.
She reports on the anti-German atmosphere and the comments of one pensioner, Vasilis (65) who says: "Vicky, tell the Merkel that we can spare no more. We are at the end." His pension was reduced from EU900 to EU600. "The joy of life that I loved about this city always — it seems to have disappeared," she tells Bild.
Of course the British are fueling this Greek versus German freakout with great tabloid enthusiasm. The Saturday Mail Online featured a lengthy report headlined "Greece on fire as it faces stark choice of 'life under the German jackboot' or leaving the euro as deadline on debt is set for tomorrow." The article included 18 photographs, all of street battles between police and protesters.
Meanwhile the unusual cold weather threatens to collapse the energy grid. Bulgaria stopped exporting electricity which accounts for 4% of Greece's needs. Gas shipped through Turkey has been disrupted for technical reasons, as well as increase demand in Turkey.