Late last night the Greek government approved several austerity measures that include increased taxes and pension cuts. As a part of the agreement, they will receive a 900 million euro loan to temporarily shore up their economy, while they discuss the possibility of accepting a three-year, 85 billion euro loan. Contrary to previous claims that their banks may be closed for another month, the emergency loan will have banks opened by next week (or so they say anyway).
However, the agreement hasn’t gone over well with left leaning citizens in Greece. While Prime Minister Tsipras claims that this was the only way to prevent a financial collapse, he and his Syriza party were elected on the promise that there would be no more draconian austerity measures. Instead, Tsipras has essentially sold his country out to receive more debt and more austerity, rather than defaulting and starting over.
In response, thousands of citizens took to the streets of Athens to protest the debate last night, many whom started to smash storefronts and burn cars. It was the first major riot to be reported since the Syriza government was elected, and police report that 50 people were arrested. Civil servants have since protested the agreement with a 24 hour strike that disrupted transportation, medical care, and other services across the country. Several government officials have also resigned over the agreement, and the Syriza party may be ousted in the next election. (see how the financial crisis could cause a civil war in Greece).
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