Athens Is Setting Itself on Fire

615 athens fire austerity.jpg

Police officers are set on fire in protests in Athens' Constitution Square/Reuters

With the backdrop of 21 percent unemployment across Greece -- and nearly 50 percent unemployment for its young workers -- Athens lawmakers voted overwhelmingly for another austerity plan that would slash the minimum wage by a fifth and lay off another 150,000 government officials over the next four years. In exchange, Greece has potentially cleared the way for an orderly default with its investors and created a path forward for new loans. Nearly 80,000 protesters responded by setting fire to the city:

Even as more than 40 buildings across Athens were set ablaze by angry protesters, the Greek Parliament passed a series of strict austerity measures meant to save the country from financial ruin. The package includes harsh cuts in the minimum wage and layoffs of over 150,000 government workers and are part of deal to secure bailout funds and debt forgiveness from foreign lenders. Despite the violence and chaos and angry debate in Parliament, the measure passed easily, mostly because the ministers who were opposed either resigned or were forced out of the country's two ruling coalition parties.

Protesters set fire to several historic buildings with petrol bombs and threw rocks at the house of Parliament. Police responded with tear-gas and bottled in rioters who responded with more fire bombings. Greek officials says that more 50 police officers were injured, while 70 others had to be take hospitals, and 45 arrests were made. Other cities also saw protests as disapproval spread across the country.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Business

Just In