Earlier today we reported that German FinMin Wolfgang Shaeuble has now suggested that the best alternative for Greece’s embattled socialist ‘savior’ government may be to put euro membership to a referendum. In Shaeuble’s words, Tsipras should “ask the Greek people to decide whether it’s ready to accept what is necessary or whether it wants the alternative.”
What is “necessary” of course, is the implementation of more austerity measures, as the country’s current fiscal reform efforts have fallen well short of what’s necessary for creditors to unlock the next tranche of much needed financial assistance. The “alternative” to which Schaeuble refers, is redenomination risk or, more simply, the introduction of a parallel currency which will promptly collapse in value and wreak havoc across the country’s already beleaguered economy.
Greeks, of course, aren’t even the slightest bit interested in subjecting themselves to further belt-tightening and as the following from Reuters makes clear, Greek citizens are at their breaking point not only with austerity, but with the Germans as well:
A small group of demonstrators occupied the Athens headquarters of German industrial group Siemens on Monday, police and company officials said, in a protest against the austerity policies imposed on Greece by its lenders.
About 30 people entered the building in a northern Athens suburb, occupying the Siemens offices and hanging a banner outside the main entrance ahead of a scheduled rally to the German embassy planned for later this month.
"We are not negotiating with domestic and foreign capitalists," read the banner. The protesters also threw flyers saying: "We won't become a colony of Germany or any other Imperialist power".
Many Greeks blame Germany for the harsh austerity policies that the country's international lenders have demanded in exchange for 240 billion euros ($268 billion) of bailout funds since 2010.
"It's a peaceful protest," Siemens Hellas spokeswoman Mari Agaliotou said. "The protesters are expected to leave within the day."
Greece has a history of anti-establishment protests by leftists with frequent skirmishes between police and youths during rallies.
Anti-austerity protesters occupied several public buildings in Greece and briefly entered the grounds of parliament in Athens last month, calling for the release of jailed members of a Marxist group.
Here are the visuals: