Greek Prime Minister George Papandreu offered to step down as a leader of the nation with the world's lowest credit rating. This, a day after two Parliamentarians from the PASOK ruling party, Kozani Alekos Athanasiadis and Giorgos Lianis, said they wouldn't support the austerity program that Papandreu desperately wants the Greek Parliament to pass. Lianis even went so far as to defect from the ruling party because he wanted to be able to safely "walk the streets."
“Mr. President, we have humiliated, hurt and wronged the Greek people. A proud people, full of fighting spirit. That’s why the people humiliate us now. We have hurt and wronged Florina. I feel the urge to apologize to the Greeks and my compatriots. We have taken human dignity away from them”, he includes in his statement.
Wednesday evening, Papandreu flip-flopped during a live, televised speech, saying that he was indeed staying. No unity government. No power sharing. No hope.
Well, he did promise to shake up his cabinet.
Greece has to pass a 3 year austerity program worth $40.5 billion by the end of June or their banksta creditors will face being cut off from bailout funds from European countries and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The austerity program includes a five-year campaign of tax hikes, spending cuts, and sell-offs of state property such as the Acropolis and some pretty nice islands.
Naturally, the Greek people aren't too happy about it.
Debate over the mid-term agreement of the program was scheduled to start today, and a large union rally was scheduled in Syntagma square, the site of a now three-week old mass protest.
When the Prime Minister drove by, his convoy was pelted with eggs, bitter oranges and water bottles.
Throughout the day, protestors have been clashing with 5,000-strong riot police force. The situation escalated as the day dragged on, and many of the peaceful protestors left the chaos and tear gas.
Some of the protestors attacked/defended themselves from riot police with sticks.
However, in fact, here is footage of undercovers organizing sticks for distribution to protestors...in front of a bunch of cops in uniforms.
Obviously, the police want a violent confrontation that they will then have to violently suppress...and it worked. Well, they didn't really need to distribute sticks, since protestors hurled molotov cocktails, rocks, water bottles, and anything they could get their hands on at police.
Even riot dog Loukanikos got in on the action.
By nightfall, official tallies had 16 arrests and 25 detentions, 36 injured cops, and at least several dozens of injured protestors.