Riots across Athens, buildings in flames

2012-02-12 21:51

Athens - Rioting spread across central Athens and buildings went up in flames amid mass protests, as lawmakers prepared to vote for a crucial debt deal needed to prevent bankruptcy.

Clashes erupted across the city centre after more than 100 000 protesters marched to parliament to rally against drastic austerity cuts that will force retrenchments in the civil service and slash the minimum wage.

Thick clouds of smoke and tear gas filled the air around parliament, as hundreds of rioters staged running battles with riot police and at least five buildings were in flames late on Sunday.

  • Fidel - 2012-02-12 22:24

    People’s politics are found in the street and elsewhere, and not in parliament.

  • Sean - 2012-02-12 23:18

    Just shoot these f@ckers with live ammo !! Enough is enough !!

      Craig - 2012-02-13 00:30

      thats what they are doing in Syria... is it right or wrong??? Do politicians ever listen to the people???

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 01:50

      Sean, easy to talk when you have no clue. my mother's pension has been cut to 92 eyro per month, after this new vote they will take another 22% off. her eye medication costs 120 euro per month the ministers voted to slash minimun wage by 22%, from 600 to about 450 euro the ministers earn 9,000 euro per month, no cuts there see any similarities to South Africa?

      Rj - 2012-02-13 07:38

      @Demetrius.Syriopoulos She is your mother, maybe you should take care of her rather then forcing Greek taxpayers to foot the bill. Take some responsibility.

      Shaun Robinson - 2012-02-13 08:32

      @RJ - Stop being such an idiot...

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 08:57

      RJ, i did not say i will not help. all i did state the facts. she may be fortunate, but there are many others that are not. so far, there have been close to 3,000 children handed over to institutions by their parents that cannot afford to take care of them. so far it is estimated that 15,000 families live on the streets. the state opened shelters over the last freezing days, and when the temperature rose above 10 degrees they kicked the people out, promising that they would reopen the shelters if the temperature dropped below 4 degrees again. that is not a government that cares about its people. we do the same here in SA. we even build houses for them here that blow over easier than the straw houses in the "three little pigs" story.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 09:28

      Sean, forgot add earlier. yes the ones that are causing the riots need to be shot as they are not the ones that actually protesting. they are similar to the 3rd force we had here in SA

      Rj - 2012-02-13 10:00

      @Demetrius Any welfare handouts come from the government forcing people to hand over private property, in this case, the money others have earned. When there is not enough of that to go around you see chaos like this. One cannot live relying on handouts from others including the new fangled European nanny state. The children being handed to institutions are more a symptom of the breakdown of the Greek family unit then an indictment of the government. How can the Greeks expect their government to make money when any government exists only to take it?

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 10:52

      RJ, i strongly disagree that the children are given away due to the breakdown of Hellenic family. just immagine if it was you? you have lost you job and o has your wife and have been unemployed for a year. you have eaten up all your savings and the only income into your home of 5 mouths to feed (you, your wife, your 2 kids and your 80 year old parent) that you are about to be kicked out of as you have not paid rent for 3-4 months, is this 90 euro pension that may buy you just 40 loaves of bread.

  • Matthew Patrick - 2012-02-12 23:36

    It's the average Greek citizen's fault that their country is in crisis. Bribery is patently evident in every government department, they have a high number of civil servants per capital thanks to the bribe earning potential and most Greeks want to live the high life but pay no taxes.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 01:53

      Mathew, 15% of the people owe 98% of the tax debt. the offenders are friends and family of the polititians

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-02-13 08:13

      Demi is right on this one , Greece has gone through 1 corrupt political establishment to the next who pillage the nations resources. Populism at its worst, they leave a mess for the next guy who either takes the cash and runs or tries to fix it but is unpopular because of the demands ,and so the carousal goes round . Lets hope they've had enough of the ride.

  • Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 01:56

    What saddens me the most about all these reports is that all of them are written to create sensation and none of them have any of the basic facts in them. None make mention that our beautiful South Africa is following the steps of Hellas (Greece) to the T. No-one ever elaborates on their articles to tell the real truth. Everywhere in articles you see, the Greeks are tax evades, the Geeks are lazy, the Greeks don’t do this that and the other. The EU wants to and has imposed all these austerity measures to curb the expenditure of the state (intentionally written with a small “s”). I will just state a few issues here as I am hoping to have a much more complete article about this soon. The minimum wage will be cut by 22% from about 600 to about 450. the currency here is totally unimportant as you cannot compare by using the conversion into ZAR. No-one ever mentions that the politicians in Hellas earn about 9,000 per month and neither Troika, the EU, Germany nor France have requested salary cuts while the requested the cuts of the minimum wage

  • Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 01:56

    No-one ever points to the independent statistics that show the opposite of the widely reported “truth” Germans call Hellenes lazy while Germans work 1,432 hours while Hellenes work 2,120 per year, or per week, 27 for Germans and 41 for Hellenes. from “at no 1 position of hardest working nations is Koreans. Greece and Italy are also near the top, at No.s 2 and 8, respectively” from Here is a basic comparison of some common products. 700g loaf of bread at LIDL (a German supermarket chain) 2.90 while the same load in Germany sells at 1.10 and in the UK at 0.75p skip washing powder 2Kg 10.30 while in Germany it sells for 5.90 colgate toothpaste 75g 2.95 in Hellas/Greece while 1.30 in Germany prices from online shopping websites a teacher in Germany earns about 2,500 while in Hellas it never exceeded 1,400 a chemist (person working in the Lab making the products) earns 3,500 in Germany and 1,500 in Hellas

      John - 2012-02-13 07:12

      hahaha. If the Greeks work that hard, they work stupid. Face it. most of them are on a workless fund of some kind. They are bloody lazy and should go up in flames. Greece is a country filled with idiots.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 09:18

      John, you may be absoltely right. it is a country filled with idiots, probubly since the begining of time. hence you have Democracy, Science, Medicine, Mathemantics hence the Parthenon was build by the Americans and Lord Elgin had to steal part of it to take it to the British musuem to have something to show the visitors. you know reading you comment "They are bloody lazy and should go up in flames." i recall not so long ago the government here in SA brainwashed people into believeing that black people were "lazy and should go up in flames"

  • Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 02:02

    by the way, before someone gets up on his high horse, i am not condoning the riots and the damage caused. many a time the hooligans in the riots have been caught and are members of the security police. this is world wide tactic for the State to be able to silence the masses. they place their hooligans in the peaceful crown to create trouble and give the security forces the right to do as they please.. (have photos to prove this)

      christine.georgiou1 - 2012-02-13 06:48

      There's one truth you are not telling. The same people that are getting violated by the politicians are the ones that keep voting for the same crooks election after election. They've been happy to keep voting for them, because it meant 12 good pension cheques + 2 bonuses a year. Where did they think the money was coming from ? They've been aware of state corruption for years, but it's been an accepted part of life. Ever tried to get anything done by a government department ? I know you have. They make our guys look professional and productive by comparison, yet the Greeks kept voting for them. Now it's payback time for all those years of stupidity.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 08:37

      Chritine, it is true that the same suffering people are the ones that voted. it is also true that a lot of those are the ones that aided to the corruption. i do not ever deny that the people have some if not a lot of these problems that they creatd themselves. i still believe that the majority of the issue lies with the leaders, as they are the ones that pass the laws as and when the urge gets them. in fact offhand i cannot even remember when the last referendum was. there was no referendum when the Hellenic language spoken by a 99% literate nation for over 5,000 years was buchered so badly to make it easy for the children. there was no referndum when the laws were changed to allow an unlimited number of foreign workers to come and work and take 100% of their money out overnight. there was no referndum when the laws were changed to allow foreign companies to import all their goods sell them and leave with 100% of their money with no obligation to spend any of it within the boarders of Hellas. admittedly this was to further a lot of the politicians' financial futures and the man in the street took full advantage of it. were they right to abuse the system that the govermnent (whatever government was ruling) gave them. yes they were. were they stupid to believe the system was working. yes they were.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 08:47

      as far the 14 pay cheques per year, these are how the system has always worked in Hellas. your annual package is divided by 14 as opposed to by 12 here in SA. it was the governments way of ensuring that the people have spare chash to spend ove the holidays so as to ensure that economy does not suffer. not taking into acount the fraud commited by Goldman Sacks in the financials presented to the EU, the government has always, at least since 1981 cooked the figures presented to the public to make it look good and obtain more votes. i know that you know, that i believe that the best government to govern a country is not the one that promised to do the greatest good, but the one that promises to do the least damage. both parties that have rules since 1981 have done everthing they have done so as to benefit their pockets irrespective of the damage to the country. the last ruling party gave citizen rights, not Nationality, to all the Albanians so that they will vote for them, and they did.

  • Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 02:07

    another point everyone may have missed. this "bailout" package that Helaw is to get will go 100% to cover interest, nothing with acctualy get to the people

  • Tallica7 - 2012-02-13 06:02

    Lets forget what this to the rest of the worlds economies! We are having to pay more in petrol mote for food all because a nation is not willing to live with on their means! People in shacks don't use SKIP they use sunlight! To be considered poor in Greece you have to earn less than 7k euros p.a.! What about those never even seeing that in a lifetime! The Euro zone needs some perspective! People should be taking advantage of the GAP in the market and provide lower income housing and products! Grow up!

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 09:25

      Tallica not sure what you are saying but, GAP was one of Hellas' problems. he also knew and he also lied.

  • pws69 - 2012-02-13 06:46

    Here is another perspective. Goldman Sachs AGAIN?

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 09:09

      good article and true. even nore of a sad story, Goldman Sacks put a Greek female in the lead of al this and she sold the golden turds to her own people. sadly she hids in the US and cannot be handed to the public. to explain why the people of Hellas, and we are talking about the public not the ones with the knowhow, were stupid or gulable to believe this one need to look at another story, maybe a little more famous or infamous whe did all those people that had all the knowhow invest with Rupert Murdoch?

  • Jason - 2012-02-13 07:52

    Well this is a lesson in life, if you overspend as an individual or a country beyond your means ... when its time to pay it back you have to cut back and forgo the essentials. I feel for the people of Greece but they won't be the last to go through this.. Greece have know this day had to come but they refused to change forgo anything to stop a debt crisis that is when you need strong political leadership, Englad have taken steps to curb spending and cut backs made them unpopular but if it must be done. Doing the right thing isn't always the popular choice.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 10:24

      Jason, live beyond your means? well did you know, there are 5.8 million illegals in Hellas? that is 50% of the entire population of the country. they cannot be kicked out, EU regulations, as they claim to be assilum seakers. the Hellenic State, well the tax payer, is funding these people. many are in repatriation shelters and cannot be repatriated according to EU regulation. Hellas has been sereerly critisised by the EU for not granting assilum status easier many others are roaming the streets selling counterfeit good. they don't get arrested as it their human right to be there ilegally and to sell countereit goods. another similarity with here at home in SA. our house is on fire and we want to help the neighbours put their blaze out. well Hellas has fed all these people when she could not realy afford to do so and here we are today. why does the rest of the EU not take some to relieve the burden? by the way, this is not an unsympathetic call to get rid of all these people. i have all the sympathy in the world, but when my stomach is empty i will fill mine 1st before i give my food away.

  • Hermann - 2012-02-13 08:43

    Nice to go out and destroy the little you have and then hopefully become recipients of foreign aid. The Greeks have lost the plot.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 09:54

      Hermann, i have pictures that prove that the riot squad attacked the riot squad, giving them reason to beat up anyone they found in their way, excluding their own. just not sure how to post pictures here

  • Fidel - 2012-02-13 08:48

    Europe is saddled with a political class that believes in austerity and monetarism. This should be seen by most Greeks as an opportunity to revolutionise the formal democratic system into something that can become an example to the rest of the world - something that might point to a new way forward. It is only poignant that this might again happen in Athena.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-13 09:48

      Fidel, you cannot revolutionise a system when you are on the streets. do you, and everyone else know, that the current PM, Papademos, was the ecomonic advisor of the PM, Papandreou, that hhe replaced? he resigned on the 10 of november as adisor and was sworn in on the 11th as PM. the click does not change. to equate this something closer to home. did the people and the NATS free Mandela? NO, is the correct answer, the powers that govern the world wanted it and "thy will be done in your country as it is in mine" this will happen in Athens, again and again and again because we are a nation that does not allow domination. hence the fact that we stood up to the mighty Germany in WW2 and delayed Hitler for an entire 4 months. the longest out of all the countries he invaded. just by the way. Hellas ha thus far not received 1 cent in WW@ reparatons from Germany. not even the money back that Hellas was forced to loan Hitler when he occupied.

  • Rj - 2012-02-13 12:42

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