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Greece Stages Another 24 Hour Strike (Complete With Teargas) As European Officials Arrive To Enhance Austerity: Live Webcam From Constitution Square

Tyler Durden's picture


On the one year anniversary of its first bailout, things in Europe's basket case are getting much worse once again. Even as senior EU and IMF inspectors arrived in Athens on Wednesday to press Greece to shore up its finances, workers walked off the job to protest against austerity-induced recession, culminating in a 24 hour strike which sees both airports and journalists taking a break from hard work. Oddly ironic this: the "bankers" arrive to make austerity even more aggressive (so there is more value left over to senior bondholders when the bankruptcy commences), just as the country experiences a deja vu  moment of strikers on one side and teargas lobbing policemen on the other. Those who wish to follow the protests live, which so far the mainstream media has refused to show, can do so here.

Reuters explains the beyond obvious reason of the IMF's latest visit to Greece:

The review will determine whether Greece will get a fifth aid tranche from the 110 billion euro bailout that saved it from bankruptcy last year and whether Athens should be given improved loan terms or more aid to avoid debt restructuring.

If Greece did not receive the next 12 billion euro tranche, key to pay 13.7 billion euros of immediate funding needs, it would be tantamount to default.

One year into the EU/IMF deal, investors are convinced the debt-choked country's bailout is not enough and Greece will be forced to restructure its debt, imposing losses on private bondholders, unless lenders step in with more funds.

Euro zone officials including German Chancellor Angela Merkel say they will wait for the result of the inspection visit before taking any decisions.

The EU and IMF mission chiefs started their visit on Wednesday with a meeting with Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou as hundreds of workers on a 24-hour strike prepared gathering to protest against austerity which unions say is strangling the economy.

Athens was nearly deserted with many shops and public services closed and the officials are likely to have seen posters covering the Greek capital reading: "We can't take it anymore. The rich and the tax evaders should pay."

Vassilis Hatzigiannis, a 31-year-old striking lawyer said: "We've reached a dead-end and the worst still lies ahead of us and our country. This policy is not getting us out of the crisis, without growth we can't move on."

As we have reported before, the market is now expecting a 45%-50% haircut to Greek bonds currently:

Ten-year Greek bonds currently change hands at around 55 percent of their face value, carrying a secondary market yield of 15.696 percent -- little changed on the day, but up more than 3 percent since the start of the year.

On why recessions, austerity and banker bailouts make for an explosive political mix:

The Socialist government has cut salaries and pensions and increased taxes, despite repeated strikes, to meet bailout targets but the measures have plunged the country into a deep recession and crimped tax revenues, hampering efforts to tackle a debt of nearly 150 percent of GDP.

Ministers are now conceding that Greece cannot regain investor trust to go back to the markets for finance in 2012.

"More austerity is probably not good for the economy, because it will deepen the recession and we don't know whether it is going to produce results in terms of fiscal consolidation," said Diego Iscaro from IHS Global Insight. "On the other hand, people will start losing faith in the government strategy."

Yet despite all the "best intentions" of the EU and the IMF, the two biggest Greek unions have decided to pull all their people. Google translated from Zougla.

"Padlock" There is now in the public and private sector, because the 24-hour nationwide strike by two unions GSEE and ADEDY, in response to economic measures affecting government employees and pensioners of the country.

Employees today affirm their opposition to the Memorandum and cuts while flare scenario that the country is heading in new, more rigorous surveillance.

In the strike will be two meetings. That of GSEE-ADEDY Pedion Mars at 11:00 am and go to 10:00 am at Omonia.

The strike involved workers in the public and private sector, employees of SOEs, theemployees of banks, the press and the staff of local authorities.

With security personnel will operate hospitals, health centers, services of IKA, Welfare and the ambulance after the decision of workers to participate in the nationwide strike, claiming to solve economic and institutional demands.

From 6:00 am Wednesday and 24 hours would not broadcast news because of the involvement of journalists in the strike.

Will remain immobilized Wednesday OSE trains and suburban railway trains, and workers involved in the CIU 24 strike.

No trains and suburban trains will remain the country Wednesday.

Work stoppage from 12:00 noon to 16:00 pm have announced that air traffic controllers. This period will not run any flights to and from Greek airports.

Those looking for a live feed from Athens, where festivities escalate in waves, can find one below:


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Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:40 | 1262201 Blue_Balls
Blue_Balls's picture

Gotta love this vicious circle of strikes, bailouts, austerity, strikes, bailouts, austerity.....

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:39 | 1262204 Re-Discovery
Re-Discovery's picture

I'd hate to be the repo man in that mob (any of these mobs for that matter.)

Heads on pikes come to mind.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:40 | 1262205 DogSlime
DogSlime's picture


Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:40 | 1262206 pesamystik
pesamystik's picture

You start to realize how weak the system is when a country like Greece can bring down the whole system. It's only 12 milllion people but if there was some sort of revolution there, we would be hitting a major freaking recession across the world. Ridiculous.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:44 | 1262213 ivana
ivana's picture

System is inherently corrupt and therefore weak.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:45 | 1262219 oogs66
oogs66's picture

i don't think it would.  or all it would do is expose the economy for where it is, not where it pretends to be with all the govt money floating around

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:47 | 1262224 DogSlime
DogSlime's picture

Indeed.  Makes me wonder how people (not just Greeks) are going to react when the proper financial crisis starts.  If they're freaking out at the appetisers, how are they going to stomach the main course?

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:32 | 1262340 bobby02
bobby02's picture

Dunno. I think the Greeks are playing their cards reasonably well: A little pissant country is holding the whole EU hostage.

On the one hand I don't see how the debt can't not be restructured but on the other hand the cost of keeping Greece on life support might be less than the cost of the added risk premium on non-Greek euro-denminated debt if Greece defaults.

Let the Games begin!

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 09:21 | 1262419 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

"You start to realize how weak the system is when a country like Greece can bring down the whole system."

How can you "bring down" a system when the system itself is an unredeemable failure?

Greece is a welfare state with a dependent welfare mind-set. What we are looking at is sickness.

The arrogance involved with the idea that they demand the world pay for their lazy unproductive asses is mind blowing.

What's not being discussed is wealth generation this is tragic.



Wed, 05/11/2011 - 09:54 | 1262629 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

There are no bigger welfare cheats on the face of the earth than the banker-gangsters, yet they somehow emerged unscathed from your attack. Why do you not care that grandmothers all over the world suffer on account of their grand larceny?

Because your bonus from them bought a ton of great blow?

It's so much easier for a banker-gangsters like yourself to attack people who actually do WORK for a living, isn't it, than it is to look in a mirror at your own parasitical existence.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 12:00 | 1263406 riley martini
riley martini's picture

 You got that right but he is probably a ditto head or Tea Party member.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 11:17 | 1263215 TheBillMan
TheBillMan's picture

First off.  It is the wealthy Greeks who don't pay their fair share of the taxes.  Kind of like GE here stateside whose effective tax rate is a little over 3% of earnings.  Second, the banksters are salivating at the opportunity of an imploding Greek economy where businesses and land can be bought up at pennies on the dollar (or Euros in this case).  To quote:

"The Socialist government has cut salaries and pensions and increased taxes, despite repeated strikes, to meet bailout targets but the measures have plunged the country into a deep recession and crimped tax revenues, hampering efforts to tackle a debt of nearly 150 percent of GDP."

Gee, you mean to tell me that cutting government spending and raising taxes only implodes the economy further?  Of course it does.  This is right out of the IMF's own playbook and has been used for decades against countries throughout Asia, Latin America, and Africa.  Austerity never leads to a recovery because that is not what it is designed to do.  Austerity is designed to send a country's economy down the toilet along with the wealth of the citizenry.  "Investors" (a.k.a. the banksters) can then come back in after the implosion and buy up all of the undervalued businesses, infrastructure, land, and mining rights for pocket change.  The banksters get it all and the little guy is left holding the bag.  This is the main reason for poverty and repressive governments in the the Third World.  The banksters need someone in charge who'll keep the jack boot on the neck of the angry citizenry.  We can't have people demanding justice and other such silly nonsense. 

Google Greg Palast and his articles on the internal IMF documents around this that were leaked to him about 10 years ago.  He also did an interview with Joseph Stigletz, one of their former head economists, who basically told him the same thing.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:41 | 1262208 magpie
magpie's picture

mmmm, Gyros

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:42 | 1262210 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture




and they only gave them the black ones and not the green once....

revolutions broke out for much less!


Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:55 | 1262396 DK Delta
DK Delta's picture

There is a famous depiction during the Nazi occupation of Athens where an SS guard was eating olives and as he spit out the pits, young boys would fall all over themselves trying to nab them in attempt to extract whatever nourishment was left. They were starving from the famine.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 12:07 | 1263430 riley martini
riley martini's picture

 Propaganda . Did you see the propaganda pieces with the Japan soldiers with Chinese babies stuck on their bayonets.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:44 | 1262217 Josephine29
Josephine29's picture

Thanks for this Tyler. I was just reading a blog post which points out what the European Central Bank has really been doing on its accounts denying the losses it has made on its purchases of Greek bonds.

If we return to my first paragraph above we see that the Euro zone has assumed that there will be no sovereign defaults on its watch and accordingly assumes all government bonds will be repaid. The European Central Bank follows this mantra andso it declares that as it is holding all its government bonds to maturity there will be no losses and accordingly it declares none! Yes the bonds on which it currently has large losses are declared as making no losses at all.


This is not the end of it. The European Central Bank has been able to create money or more strictly liquidity at an interest-rate of 1% and more recently 1.25% to finance all this. Yet these bonds even at the beginning of the crisis were yielding much more than this. Right now if we look at short-dated yields we see 12% in Ireland and Portugal and 25% in Greece and if we think that the ECB has been buying as interest-rates have risen to these levels it can book rather large interest-rate gains.


Hurrah for the ECB in its discovery of a holy grail! You book interest-rate profits and adopt an assumption which allows you to ignore capital losses! The more thoughtful among you may already be spotting a familiarity with the way private-sector banks got themselves into trouble in the run-up to the credit crunch. We are now at the point I made on Monday that European taxpayers are unaware of what is being done with their credit…


The blog post goes on to explain how the losses have also been given back to Greece.


Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:50 | 1262225 Silverhog
Silverhog's picture

Austerity will never happen. Europe get over it, the money is gone. Greece start printing your own Zimbabwe notes.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:03 | 1262246 kaiten
kaiten's picture

Austerity doesnt work when your economy is a Ponzi scheme like that of Greece. It did work in baltics, central Europe, scandinavia(in 90s) and elsewhere. Im saying this from from the beggining of this crisis. Greece should be kicked out of both eurozone and EU, they dont belong in there.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:06 | 1262249 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

I love you one can say "it did work" by measuring in 5-second increments.

What a fantastic system - such a long-term view of social development!  

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:09 | 1262257 kaiten
kaiten's picture

Austerity is not a long-term development, it´s a short-term correction. You think Scandinavia has a poor social development?

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:15 | 1262277 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Scandinavia was socially developed before austerity.  In fact, 'Austerity' (i.e., knifing the masses in the back) runs counter to idea of social development, and creating a miniscule time horizon by which to measure success is the only way to 'generate' it.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 09:06 | 1262351 kaiten
kaiten's picture

So why wasnt Greece socially developed before austerity? Whose fault is it? Martians? They have 300bn EUR in debts. Should they spent at least third of that on productive investment there would be absolutely no need for austerity. They consumed it all. Sure austerity doesnt work there. When you stop feeding the ponzi, the house of cards fall apart. Now they´re crying for help. Funny, they didnt need help while spending all those billions. Kick them out, cant wait for that to happen.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 09:44 | 1262593 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Social development isn't something one has or doesn't have.  That they weren't AS developed before the crash as the Scandinavian nations (all of whom rank near the top of virtually all human development indices) hardly makes them unique in the world.

Moreover, the Greek government got plenty of 'help' spending billions, from the banker-gangsters who rigged the books in order to shovel paper their way.  Furthermore, the CONDITIONS of that money was that it be shipped to offshore bank accounts in the form of bribes or spent on the tourism industry.

Then the banker-gangsters lied about the terms and proceeded to the gambling houses to bet against Greek debt using someone elses money.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 10:35 | 1262889 kaiten
kaiten's picture

So why did Greece spend all the loans on consumption, again? I somehow missed your answer. Whose fault is the current situation, again? Missing your answer. What does Greece produce, again? I mean, except of fraud and lies.

Here´s how "competitive" Greece is. List of countries by export per capita (in US dollars, 2009)

10. - Slovenia - 16,640
14. - Slovakia - 14,570
21. - Czech Republic - 10,700
23. - Estonia - 9,820
26. - Hungary -    7,860
28. - Lithuania - 7,250
53. - Greece - 2,425

See, I didnt mention Scandinavia or western Europe there. Only central/eastern european countries. 15 years ago, all of these countries were in MUCH WORSE shape than Greece. But while they spent the time by restructuring their economies, Greece became the beggar and clown of Europe. I can only hope that Germany grows some balls and kick this failed country out of EU and eurozone. And then, they can moaning, demonstrating and looking for excuses as much as they want.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:21 | 1262293 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture


Only 62% of all greeks work for the government.

It's still good! It's still good! Just a little bit of green slime, but it's still good! AAAAaaaarrrhhhhHHhh!!!


Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:47 | 1262226 Robslob
Robslob's picture

Me thinks the banking cartel was there inspecting their new and wholly owned property!

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:56 | 1262241 Re-Discovery
Re-Discovery's picture

Just try kicking the Greeks out of it. 

Maybe they rent everything to the Turks?  Their economy is doing well.  Every red-blooded Turkish man would love to have a Greek boy servant in his home.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:47 | 1262367 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

That is the true middle eastern love which dare not speak its name!

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:48 | 1262228 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

Those Greeks look pretty healthy to me. My guess is there is a thriving black market for everything, the protests are for show.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:05 | 1262256 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

How they 'look' from your point of observation really matters, doesn't it!

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:23 | 1262302 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Only when viewed thru a 12 x 40 Leupold.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:54 | 1262400 DK Delta
DK Delta's picture

There is a thriving black market, but the protests are definitely not for show. The black market is the only thing saving Greece right now, but things are the worst in Athens. The countryside will survive.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 07:58 | 1262239 sabra1
sabra1's picture

i'm feta up with all these greek jokes!

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:11 | 1262268 Re-Discovery
Re-Discovery's picture

Olive 'em.

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 04:45 | 1271015 John Skookum
John Skookum's picture

Ouzo counting?  

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 04:53 | 1271017 John Skookum
John Skookum's picture

Don't be a gyro.  You should be souvlaki.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:00 | 1262243 Lord Peter Pipsqueak
Lord Peter Pipsqueak's picture

The floggings will continue until morale improves!!!

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:00 | 1262247 Temporalist
Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:07 | 1262253 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Greek haiku time:

The flash crash is coming back.
greeks are on the streets again
Sell gold? You're a schmuck.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:16 | 1262280 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

They should bring out the tanks allready.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:18 | 1262284 Re-Discovery
Re-Discovery's picture

And aim them at whom?

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:22 | 1262297 cossack55
cossack55's picture

The bankstas, of course.  Nothing more demonstrative than a banksta taking a 120 smoothbore shot to the chest.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:23 | 1262299 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

No need to aim, just plow these surfs down.  They have no choice but to pay for the bankers.  100% tax and all non vital organ forced donations next.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:27 | 1262309 Re-Discovery
Re-Discovery's picture

Serfs.  Tough to do when the serfs are driving the tanks.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:25 | 1262313 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Good point, unknown variable there

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:27 | 1262312 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Yes, there is a choice. Pro-death, Kill the fucking bankstas or except slavery. If the correct answer isn't clear, buy some kneepads.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:20 | 1262290 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

These bailouts, are not going to help the greek people. They help the french/german banks.

Save the funds. Use them for a Euro styler TARP, post 50% haircuts in restructing greece, portugal, and Ireland. Got it done quickly.

Of course that would take chutzpah and honesty. There is NO Central Bankers school for those qualities.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:21 | 1262292 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Cool. If you pick a chat name Zh comments show up on their board with all the funny writing.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:22 | 1262303 adonisdemilo
adonisdemilo's picture


aim them at the fucking bankers while they're all in the same place

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:44 | 1262363 Re-Discovery
Re-Discovery's picture

But of course.  And hence we have the answer to why Greece will continue to get bailed out. 

(At least the Greeks have the balls to protest.  I am a little disappointed in my Mick friends.)

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 10:00 | 1262708 Alex Kintner
Alex Kintner's picture

+10 "At least the Greeks have the balls to protest.  "

You got that right. Greeks are showing the rest of the enslaved world how stand up to tyrants. When they reach the 'Heads in a Basket' stage, we may see real progress.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 12:23 | 1263529 citizen2084
citizen2084's picture

Excellent point. The USSA, and UK will never get off their fat asses. If there is a beer and game on then they have no worries. 

It will be fun to watch them come out of their flouride, zanex, haze when the hunger sets in a few years.

I think about about our country's (USSA) lazy whiny kids, (think their middle class when all they are is broke) being the butlers and hand maids for their Asian lords.

As Jello Biarfra once said "you will work hard with a gun in your back for a bowl of rice a day".

Seriously, it is so sad to see a people so slovenly






Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:35 | 1262337 cossack55
cossack55's picture

I hope so. The Fiesta de San Fermin is right around the corner. I want some company in the streets.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:40 | 1262361 ZackAttack
ZackAttack's picture

And the US has $45b committed to this mess why exactly?

What have they spent, a trillion dollars? yet nothing's better, by any measure, than it was last year.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 08:44 | 1262365 SP666_IsComing
SP666_IsComing's picture

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All news everywhere now is completely worthless and irrelevant except for ONE!


Comet (falling angel) Elenin is coming Sept 27, 2011.  Comet Elenin will be the mightiest of all the angels (comets).  It will try to overpower God (the sun), fail, be banished, and literally fall to earth.  This comet is the origin of all the old myths about the mightiest angel who fell from grace, banished by god (the sun), and fell to earth … better known to everyone as Lucifer.


This comet’s vapor trail is saturated with dust and it will sweep and engulf the earth in October (the falling angel!).  The massive vapor and dust tail will create enormous rainclouds for DAYS all over the world!!  Water levels will rise EVERYWHERE!


A biblical flood is coming in October!  This is not a joke. This is not a test.


SP-666 will be taken out before October! 


Bankster criminals, murderers and thieves (and all their ilk) have kept this “little” event secret for centuries within their stupid childish secret society cults. For nothing but pure greed and hatred for the rest of humanity, sheeple and markets have been lied to and manipulated for millennium so those greedy little devils … “chosen people” can “inherit the earth” after this event.  They are stealing and raping everyone now to accumulate every last ounce of gold (money) before October.


Financial market schizophrenic meters are off the charts due to the planning for this event!


Wake up world. Protect yourselves. Take appropriate positions, profit from those evil worshippers, survive, and take back some of that stolen bankster booty!

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 09:09 | 1262451 Paralympic Equity
Paralympic Equity's picture

Khm, not all mushrooms are edible...

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 09:05 | 1262435 Paralympic Equity
Paralympic Equity's picture

Meanwhile in Greece

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 09:30 | 1262556 svc101
svc101's picture

Previews of Detroit this fall.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 09:34 | 1262567 The Count
The Count's picture

The Greeks are conniving, sleazy bastards, but they know how to live. The idiots in Brussels who get huge salaries should have seen through the fake statistics and declined the joining of the EU. Of course the powers that be wanted countries to join as fast as possible so anybody figuring out the true state of affairs was quickly silenced. And even today with Billions of EU tax money being fed into Greece NOBODY has been charged with any negligence...

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 09:42 | 1262611 Jackfish
Jackfish's picture


The Greeks are proposing to build a track to bring Formula One racing to the country.

“It has taken many years to reach this point,” the head of the company set up to manage the project, former Patras mayor Evangelos Floratos, told Ta Nea daily after it was included in government development plans.

The project has an estimated cost of 94 billion euros ($135 billion) and will be partly subsidised by the Greek state.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 10:34 | 1262896 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

Austerity: Last chance to grab the seed corn before the last of it is gone.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 10:45 | 1262963 Bubbles the cat (not verified)
Bubbles the cat's picture

We got a discount on tear gas and batons from a German source goin on:

Maybe someone can squeeze a profit outta this.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 13:40 | 1263992 Grand Supercycle
Grand Supercycle's picture

The GOLD/SILVER/EURO/DOW/SP500 sell off and USD rally I have warned about has started.

Be careful folks.

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 15:44 | 1264640 AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

I hope the Greek people resist the slavery that will be put upon them by the EU/IMF.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!