Anti-Austerity Protesters Violently Fill The Streets Of Athens

Protesters hurled stones and petrol bombs in Athens at one of the largest anti-austerity protests in months’ time- nearly 80 percent of Greeks feel the government is not going in the right direction, NPRreports.

Tens of thousands of Greeks marched through the streets, chanting “Give us Bread, Education and Freedom! The dictatorship has not ended!”

Unemployment is at 54 percent for those under 25; unemployment has done nothing but rise in recent years. Overall unemployment in the nation is at 24 percent. A third of the nation is below the poverty line, BBCreports.

The new austerity package is projected to be worth 11 and one-half billion euros, which is actually the smallest of the three austerity packages the government has implemented since the beginning of Greece’s crisis, two years prior.

About six percent of the country’s gross domestic product will be waged in the proposed new austerity measures in Greece.

Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and parliament are proposing to slash pensions and raise the retirement age to 67.

BBCreports:

“the trade union-led action is the first since Greece’s conservative-led coalition came to power in June. The protest is against planned spending cuts of 11.5bn euros ($15bn; £9bn). The savings are a pre-condition to Greece receiving its next tranche of bailout funds, without which the country could face bankruptcy in weeks.”

The government is also urging the troika-which is used to refer to the European Union’s presence-who are representing Greece’s lenders, which include the International Monetary Fund, The European Commission and the European Central Bank to allow the country two extra years to push through their austerity package.

According to Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, the extra time could cost as much as 15 billion euros.

Protesters referred to the troika’s presence:

“We won’t submit to the troika!” and “EU, IMF out! People, fight, they’re drinking your blood.”

If the country cannot pay it’s repayment to the troika, they could default which would force the nation to leave the euro.