100,000 Protesting In Athens Right Now
The first confirmation of protests expected to sweep across Europe tonight from Greece to Spain, France and Italy comes from Syntagma square where up to 100,000 people are protesting at this moment. Ekathimerini reports: "Greeks inspired by the Spanish “Indignant” or “Indignados” movement held
their largest protest so far in Athens on Sunday, which some estimates
put as high as 100,000 people, although a more accurate assesment seemed
to be that those taking part exceeded 30,000. No official figure was given for the number of people packing into
Syntagma Square in front of Parliament but it was clear that the protest
was by far the largest since the movement began on Wednesday." For now the Greek protest is peaceful, but with the US on vacation, and the EURUSD about to be very volatile, we urge readers to follow the real time update at the following live webcast.
(the feed may be down due to a surge in traffic, we are looking for alternative feeds)
More from Ekathimerini:
Then, some 20,000 people were thought to have taken to the streets of the capital but it was clear that on Sunday, the numbers were much larger. The protest remained peaceful, as people sang, chanted slogans against the country’s politicians and austerity measures and aimed gestures at Parliament.
Greece’s deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos had earlier dismissed the significance of the country’s ‘Indignant’ movement.
“It is a movement without an ideology or organization, which bases itself on only one feeling, that of rage,” Pangalos told Ethnos newspaper.
Greece’s version of the ‘Indignant’ movement, protesting austerity measures and demanding that politicians are more in tune with citizens’ needs, has led to thousands of people protesting in front or Parliament in Athens, as well as in other cities, every day since Wednesday. Some have started camping out overnight as well.
On Sunday, similar protests were due to be held in other European countries, including Spain, France and Italy.
Famed Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis gave his public backing to the protesters and called for “the government of shame” to go along with “the politicians for destroying, plundering and subjugating Greece.”
The protesters also found an unlikely ally in Thessaloniki’s conservative bishop, Anthimos.
An MEP representing the centrist Democratic Alliance party, Theodoros Skylakakis said that the protesters would have to affect the political process if they want to have a real impact.
“These people have to become politicized and develop a greater political realization,” he told Skai TV. “They have to progress from “this is what I don’t like” to “this is what I like”.”
Organizers posted a message on their Facebook page on Saturday calling for the messages of the protest to become more specific. Suggestions included demands for the International Monetary Fund to leave Greece, for Parliamentary immunity to be lifted and for audit commission to be set up to establish how the country’s debt was amassed.
A "commission to establish how the country's debt was amassed"... and the commission is to be funded with more debt issuance.