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 Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots

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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:46 am

floatingingalway wrote:
I wouldn't be a fan of Libertas so I suppose I do mean the
Quote :
thirty something unemployed aspiring or middle class.
Is it up to us to be engaged properly? It is not only the students in Greece who are feeling disenfranchised.

The Students there were steadily being focused on by the 'right-wing' Government for budget cuts so the Government was foolishly adding indignation to a group who definitely seem to have the conviction. We don't have any one large enough group with conviction here yet to blow up, although I don't know if rioting and burning is the answer either.

But it's not just students who are at it down there - it seems to be a general swell that has been building for a while.
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:42 pm

I am trying to think of any situation historically in which riots have brought about permanent and positive change.

The problem isn't so much the riots as the lack of a political alternative to the failed old parties. The door is open for either a state forces crackdown or the emergence of the far right - that has been clear since the beginning of the year.

There is definitely a need for a left alternative, and the SWPs single issue approach has been going nowhere. The Communist Parties pretty well wound up after the fall of the USSR, although they might still be players in the old USSR countries. There are some populist charismatic led government in Latin America. There seem to be a lot of different versions of Trotsyism out there, if you look at the net, but no solid organisation.

Perhaps Joe H. will come here one day and make his stump speech.
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:25 pm

After the US backed coup in Venezuela - it was people power that restored democracy - they took to the streets in such vast numbers that the coup leaders fled in fear. That's not a riot of course. Mass expressions of protest and even angry riots do make governments aware that there is only so far they can go but no further. There has never been a single democratic freedom that was obtained without a fight of some sort - none was ever 'given' - they had all to be demanded. Right now all our freedoms are being taken away again - employment rights, rights of peaceful protest, rights of privacy while at the same time a massive economic burden is being imposed on the business sectors and individuals who have no responsibility for the filthy prictices of the financial markets and the political class who facilitated them at every turn. It makes my blood boil, for one, to think of the thousands of people thrown out of jobs here and small, profitable businesses that are going to the wall in Ireland while not a single banker, economist or politician has had to lose theirs. Not only that but the banking bailout and recapitalisation plans are not working because the money is only going to subsidise the wrong economic entities. And as has been said to death, meanwhile the people responsible go on enjoying massive salary and other subsidies courtesy of their victims. In the face of that sort of arrogance it's no wonder people are angry enough to riot, imo. Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:49 pm

Aragon wrote:
After the US backed coup in Venezuela - it was people power that restored democracy - they took to the streets in such vast numbers that the coup leaders fled in fear. That's not a riot of course. Mass expressions of protest and even angry riots do make governments aware that there is only so far they can go but no further. There has never been a single democratic freedom that was obtained without a fight of some sort - none was ever 'given' - they had all to be demanded. Right now all our freedoms are being taken away again - employment rights, rights of peaceful protest, rights of privacy while at the same time a massive economic burden is being imposed on the business sectors and individuals who have no responsibility for the filthy prictices of the financial markets and the political class who facilitated them at every turn. It makes my blood boil, for one, to think of the thousands of people thrown out of jobs here and small, profitable businesses that are going to the wall in Ireland while not a single banker, economist or politician has had to lose theirs. Not only that but the banking bailout and recapitalisation plans are not working because the money is only going to subsidise the wrong economic entities. And as has been said to death, meanwhile the people responsible go on enjoying massive salary and other subsidies courtesy of their victims. In the face of that sort of arrogance it's no wonder people are angry enough to riot, imo. Mad

Plenty of dictators have fallen when masses of people have taken to the streets in a disciplined way, and when someone was ready to take responsibility for government. Riots are the opposite to that - I was watching TV film of the Los Angeles riots last week and saw a looter taking clothes from a dry cleaner, with the owner saying " what are you doing - those are your neighbour's clothes". The rich don't pay for riots. They are just a gesture of powerless frustration. In Greece, I think there is much more going on than just riots, and it is very much a media exercise to make it look as though there is a total breakdown of order and no coherent opposition.
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:41 am

cactus flower wrote:
I am trying to think of any situation historically in which riots have brought about permanent and positive change.

The problem isn't so much the riots as the lack of a political alternative to the failed old parties. The door is open for either a state forces crackdown or the emergence of the far right - that has been clear since the beginning of the year.

There is definitely a need for a left alternative, and the SWPs single issue approach has been going nowhere. The Communist Parties pretty well wound up after the fall of the USSR, although they might still be players in the old USSR countries. There are some populist charismatic led government in Latin America. There seem to be a lot of different versions of Trotsyism out there, if you look at the net, but no solid organisation.

Perhaps Joe H. will come here one day and make his stump speech.
The Velvet Revolution in Czech springs to mind as a peaceful overturning of a government. That would be the line I am thinking of. The SWP attitude scares me, to be honest. I have been heavily involved in grassroots campaigns throughout my adult life and that lot always show up when all the groundwork has been done and get so hardcore so fast that they manage to scare all the ordinary people off. In fact, I could say that they have been the bane of my activist life! I run now when I see the wallpaper-pasting table/megaphone combo.
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Sun Dec 21, 2008 1:05 am

floatingingalway wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
I am trying to think of any situation historically in which riots have brought about permanent and positive change.

The problem isn't so much the riots as the lack of a political alternative to the failed old parties. The door is open for either a state forces crackdown or the emergence of the far right - that has been clear since the beginning of the year.

There is definitely a need for a left alternative, and the SWPs single issue approach has been going nowhere. The Communist Parties pretty well wound up after the fall of the USSR, although they might still be players in the old USSR countries. There are some populist charismatic led government in Latin America. There seem to be a lot of different versions of Trotsyism out there, if you look at the net, but no solid organisation.

Perhaps Joe H. will come here one day and make his stump speech.
The Velvet Revolution in Czech springs to mind as a peaceful overturning of a government. That would be the line I am thinking of. The SWP attitude scares me, to be honest. I have been heavily involved in grassroots campaigns throughout my adult life and that lot always show up when all the groundwork has been done and get so hardcore so fast that they manage to scare all the ordinary people off. In fact, I could say that they have been the bane of my activist life! I run now when I see the wallpaper-pasting table/megaphone combo.

I think they have had some members in Ireland who are serious people, but overall, its a dilletante approach.
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Sat Dec 27, 2008 1:48 am

Quote :
25 Dec.
Police Bus fired at in Athens, Greece

ATHENS: Hundreds of anarchists chanting "cops, pigs, murderers" marched through Athens on Tuesday hours after a gunman opened fire at a
riot-police bus in a third week of anti-government protests since police shot dead a teenager.

An unidentified gunman shot at the bus carrying 19 officers when it stopped at traffic lights outside a university campus in eastern Athens at around 5 am. Two bullets hit the bus, bursting a tyre, but no one was injured in the incident, which is being investigated by counter-terrorism police.
Times of India

Quote :
26 Dec.
Shots fired at suburban train in Greece

ATHENS, Greece -- Gunmen fired at a train travelling in a suburb of Athens, shattering windows in a middle car, local media reported on Friday (December 26th). It happened near the suburb of Tavros on Thursday night. No one aboard suffered injury. That was the third incident involving firearms since a police officer shot a 15-year-old boy dead on December 6th, which triggered violent protests and rioting across the country.

Meanwhile, a fresh wave of arson damaged seven cars, a bank and a government building in Athens early Thursday following three weeks of protests against the teenager's killing. Officials reported no injuries. On Wednesday evening, about 700 protesters marched through Athens' main shopping district to demand the release of those arrested during the recent rioting.
South European Times

Quote :
26 Dec.
Police and Government cars, bank, attacked in Greece

A Greek government official's car was firebombed in front of his house on Friday while assailants threw a Molotov cocktail at a bank and another group attacked a police car, authorities said.

Attacks on government and banking facilities are frequent in Greece, but they have been widespread since a 15-year-old boy was killed by police earlier this month, triggering a wave of violent youth protests against authorities.
Link

Another big protest is planned for the 9th of January.
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:23 am

cactus flower wrote:
Aragon wrote:
After the US backed coup in Venezuela - it was people power that restored democracy - they took to the streets in such vast numbers that the coup leaders fled in fear. That's not a riot of course. Mass expressions of protest and even angry riots do make governments aware that there is only so far they can go but no further. There has never been a single democratic freedom that was obtained without a fight of some sort - none was ever 'given' - they had all to be demanded. Right now all our freedoms are being taken away again - employment rights, rights of peaceful protest, rights of privacy while at the same time a massive economic burden is being imposed on the business sectors and individuals who have no responsibility for the filthy prictices of the financial markets and the political class who facilitated them at every turn. It makes my blood boil, for one, to think of the thousands of people thrown out of jobs here and small, profitable businesses that are going to the wall in Ireland while not a single banker, economist or politician has had to lose theirs. Not only that but the banking bailout and recapitalisation plans are not working because the money is only going to subsidise the wrong economic entities. And as has been said to death, meanwhile the people responsible go on enjoying massive salary and other subsidies courtesy of their victims. In the face of that sort of arrogance it's no wonder people are angry enough to riot, imo. Mad

Plenty of dictators have fallen when masses of people have taken to the streets in a disciplined way, and when someone was ready to take responsibility for government. Riots are the opposite to that - I was watching TV film of the Los Angeles riots last week and saw a looter taking clothes from a dry cleaner, with the owner saying " what are you doing - those are your neighbour's clothes". The rich don't pay for riots. They are just a gesture of powerless frustration. In Greece, I think there is much more going on than just riots, and it is very much a media exercise to make it look as though there is a total breakdown of order and no coherent opposition.


It comes naturally to the media to do this, as in it's not a conspiracy or anything. But we can't be too downbeat as there's always more of 'us' than 'them'...

Media alternatives like internet boards/blogs, 'citizen journalism', Indymedia, the Real News Network, Znet, Democracy Now, etc are a start at providing access to alternative sources of information that are not monopolised by the corporate sector or the government, and some are even now moving to cable/tv.
Some of the best analysis, say of the American election could be found from these outlets and I don't think you'd need to be on the left to see that. Having said that they have yet to tap into the wide demographic seen on the streets during the war in Iraq protests.

But I think the mask of impartiality and diversity of the mainstream media has really very visibly slipped this year.

You don't need to be as well informed as many people on this forum to see the point being made, when you look at what line BBC newsnight (for a 'flagship' 'liberal' example), took during the Georgian, er, invasion, or the one-sided analysis of the economic crisis, ( the Irish site, mediabite, were very good on this http://www.mediabite.org/article_The-Media-and-the-Banking-Bailout_679566551.html ) by Primetime and the Irish media, or the curious fixation on the democratic worthiness of Zimbabwe served with a heavy side helping of humanitarian imperialism by bomber-'left' decents (hardened 'veterans' of the Iraq invasion, natch), or more recently on the environment etc

and now the mainstream media analysis of what's going on in Greece, is almost non-existent. The lights not being shun there. It's just a riot...just a riot.

One of the real stumbling blocks to progress, is an undemocratic and biased media. Invariably biased due to ownership (corporate and state) and the varying filtering processes (see Chomsky, just switch on the news etc).

A related stumbling block is a clear vision for the future, coming from the disparate dissenting groups, where people can see that they would be better off, in terms of say the environment or their everyday working lives, than with the business as usual status quo.

Meanwhile the minority interests which clearly control the media in our polyarchies* do the unsurprising thing in such a context, and divided and conquer, obfuscate, and, well, downright lie.



*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyarchy#Characteristics

Quote :
In a discussion of contemporary British foreign policy, Mark Curtis stated that "Polyarchy is generally what British leaders mean when they speak of promoting 'democracy' abroad. This is a system in which a small group actually rules and mass participation is confined to choosing leaders in elections managed by competing elites." [6]



http://www.medialens.org/about/the_point.php
We did not expect the Soviet Communist Party's newspaper Pravda to tell the truth about the Communist Party, why should we expect the corporate press to tell the truth about corporate power?
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:41 pm

Heard on tv news that there were 800 "establishments" (schools and colleges?) were occupied in Greece. Has anyone got any news?
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:01 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Heard on tv news that there were 800 "establishments" (schools and colleges?) were occupied in Greece. Has anyone got any news?
Haven't heard anything but just checked on Newsnow but nothing -- http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/World+News/Europe/Western/Greece

Isn't there a big demonstration organised for the 9th or something ? Which channel did you hear that on ?
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:18 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Heard on tv news that there were 800 "establishments" (schools and colleges?) were occupied in Greece. Has anyone got any news?
Cancel, for life, free education and/or social welfare payments for anyone still occupying schools or colleges after 1.00pm, @ 2.00pm send in the lollypop ladies to clear out anybody still there, restart the education system @ 9.00am tomorrow.
What it lacks in liberal thinking it makes up for in decisiveness, what do you think?
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:21 pm

tonys wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Heard on tv news that there were 800 "establishments" (schools and colleges?) were occupied in Greece. Has anyone got any news?
Cancel, for life, free education and/or social welfare payments for anyone still occupying schools or colleges after 1.00pm, @ 2.00pm send in the lollypop ladies to clear out anybody still there, restart the education system @ 9.00am tomorrow.
What it lacks in liberal thinking it makes up for in decisiveness, what do you think?

For a moment I thought I was on the Gaza thread, and was going to say, not necessary, as they have already bombed them.
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:27 am

Riots break out in Greece again last night. It was thought that the rioters had had enough after the last spate burned out but this was sparked off during a demonstration over an incident concerning a Bulgarian immigrant worker.

The Bulgarian woman who was working at a Government office for a sub-contractor had appealed against unfair wages but was assaulted by a gang and burned with acid. Exclamation

1min 57 sec - BBC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SI5nAWx98s

Quote :
Athens. There were new clashes between police and demonstrators in Athens. Several thousands of people went out on the streets of the Greek capital to require the investigation against the assaulters of Bulgarian emigrant to be speeded up, Russian Novie Izvestiya newspaper reports.
The demonstration started peacefully but later on a group of young people started throwing stones and bottles with explosive content at police officers. Police, on the other hand, responded with tear-gas.

Bulgarian Konstantina Kuneva, secretary of the Union of Housekeepers and Cleaners in Athens, was attacked in front of her home by two unknown assailants who splashed acid in her face. The woman was badly injured and burnt on her face. She lost the sight of one of her eyes, has problems with speaking, hearing and movement.
http://www.focus-fen.net/?id=n168246
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:09 pm

Excellent Article on Greece in the IT Today - the best I've read in a long time on the country

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0204/1232923385094.html



RICHARD PINE REPORTS
Quote :
OF the riots throughout Greece in December, and further disturbances last month, have concentrated on two contributory factors: the
weaknesses of the education system and the social and economic gaps between the haves and the have-nots. But this is only part of
the story. Behind these factors is the growing cynicism and disillusion of citizens at the corruption and arrogance among politicians of all
parties. Most commentators – and the security forces themselves – have used the terms “terrorist” and “anarchist” to describe the politicalideologies fuelling this disquiet.

Anarchy in this context means the destruction not just of the existing democratic structures, but of the concept that politics are necessary. In their own extreme,anarchists are the polar opposite of the military dictators who ruled 1967-74 – the junta of colonels. They question whether the modern Greek state is actually viable – whether it represents the aspirations and experience of the Greek people, which are seldom articulated in public.

In many senses, Greece is a country in dismay, and not just because of the violence and the worldwide financial crisis. Frustration with current social and financial circumstances is of course a major contributor to civic disruption. Riots are the violent face of discontent. But they can be the expression of a much older and more deep-seated unrest, rooted in the way a relatively new country can emerge. Greeks, since
independence in 1831, have lived under the burden of history in hopes of cohesion and a unity of vision and purpose which seems to elude
them. In 1453, Constantinople, the symbol and centre of the Hellenic world, fell to the Turks. Since then, the idea of Greece has been homeless and lacking direction, an idea without a form, an ambition without a reality, a focus around a black hole in history. But the Megali Idea (grand plan) devised in the 1880s gave Greeks a populist notion of retrieving “the glory that was Greece”. Huge
territorial advances significantly shifted Greece’s borders, so much so that in the aftermath of the first World War, it seemed militarily
possible to invade Turkey and eventually repossess Constantinople (Istanbul). It was a disaster and led in 1922 to the destruction
of the largely Greek city of Smyrna (today, Izmir), the hub of its beloved hinterland, Anatolia, and the expulsion of the Greeks from
Turkey. In the folk memory and in the political memory, Greece is still coming to terms with that disaster. It is also still trying to
understand the return of adults who, as children, were exported to eastern bloc countries by the communists during the civil war (1946-49). And it is also trying to cope with the presence of thousands of so called Pontine Greeks – refugees from former Russian territories in the Black
Sea area, now mostly living in sub-standard housing in Athens: Greek but for the most part not speaking Greek, the victims and the agents of
drugs and prostitution.

The civil war is the most tangible and relentless reminder of the failure of the modern Greek state. Some countries experience a civil war immediately after the shock of freedom: Finland in 1919, Ireland in 1922. In Greece, the civil war took much longer to happen, partly because after independence, the new state remained the plaything of the major powers, right up to and after the second World War. The civil war, between communists and the right, was partly ideological, partly due to the rival economic strategies which developed in the 1930s to deal with the civil divisions in the aftermath of the Anatolian catastrophe, which had already resulted in two periods of dictatorship. Anatolia
precipitated the crises of the 1930s and 40s, and the civil war, unmentioned and unmentionable in most arenas, is still precipitating
today’s unrest, while the aftermath of Yugoslavia (especially the as yet unresolved problem of Macedonia) is a continuing problem on
Greece’s borders.

Not all is black. Within the space of a few years, Greece had won the European football championships and the
Eurovision Song Contest (matters of huge national pride), had opened a new international airport with a rail link (something Dublin cannot
boast) and had successfully staged the Olympic Games. It had a Hellenic Tiger tugging at the economy, making it, after Ireland, the
most successful in Europe. But the economic success led politicians to see a way of making Athens the financial hub of the fast developing
Balkan states: where the Megali Idea was an impossible dream in territorial terms, Greece’s superiority in economic leadership could
embrace Bulgaria, Romania and even Turkey in a Balkan mini-empire. But this is completely at variance with the horizons and experience of the
majority of Greek people, 20 per cent of whom live below the poverty line, and it disturbs a deep resonance within the collective memory.

History is a cruel mistress. A Greek is someone who, as novelist Vangelis Hatziyannidis puts it, “spends more time planning the past
than he does planning the future”. Of course it is essential to be free of the past. Over 20 years ago, an editorial in the Sunday
Tribune remonstrated that the then apparent fixation with the question of Irish identity was getting in the way of progress: worrying about
“who we are” was less important than the business of “who we will be”. The same might be said today of the Greek debate. Greece, like many
emerging societies, is trying to come to terms with the transition from a rural economy and culture to an urban cosmopolitanism and the
resulting change in demography.

Café society is vibrant, and volatile. It is where young people debate the transition, and discussthe pain of that transition, with the past always forbiddingly looking over their shoulder. It is this fissure between old and new, traditional and modern, that lies at the root of unrest and fuels the riots. Tradition represents authentic Greekness. In a country where Eleftheria (freedom), Areti (virtue) and Alethia (truth) are
common first names, alongside iconic names from classical times such as Aristotle, Pericles, Demeter, Antigone and Alkestis, roots are not
easily torn up. Fifty years ago, parliamentary exchanges between the then principal political figures, George Papandreou and Constantine
Karamanlis, dominated debate in Greece. Today, theirdescendants, lacklustre George Papandreou (leader of the opposition
party, Pasok, and grandson to his same-name grandfather) and the obstinate Costas Karamanlis, prime minister (leader of New Democracy,
the party founded by his uncle, Constantine Karamanlis), gesture at one another in polite, meaningless phrases that deceive no one. Plus ça
change. Like so many present-day Irish politicians, there are dynasties at the centre of Greek politics. But you don’t have to be a
cute hoor to succeed in Greece. If you aren’t born into the professional classes, no amount of cuteness will help. And that, in
itself, has alienated most of the have-nots. Dynastic doesn’t work any more.

The fact that neither New Democracy nor Pasok has an answer, and the additional fact that smaller parties on both left and right are unwilling or unable to enter political dialogue with themajor players, suggests that current political rivalries are relatively unimportant compared to the problem of giving Greece a new sense of purpose that is linked, but not shackled, to the past.

Richard Pine, formerly of Dublin, is director emeritus of the Durrell School of Corfu, where he lives.
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:12 pm

Interesting article. Jaysus, that is one nice job Mr. Pine has *yearn*
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:33 pm

Police Defuse Bomb at Citibank in Athens


ATHENS, Greece -- Greek police destroyed a powerful car bomb Wednesday left by an unknown group outside the offices of Citibank Inc. in an Athens suburb.

A guard at the offices called police after seeing the car abandoned. The bomb squad destroyed the device shortly before 7 a.m. Athens time, police spokesman Panagiotis Stathis said.

...
In the past two months, Athens has seen a spate of attacks -- mostly aimed at police -- by domestic far-left-wing extremists. The extremist groups have issued claims of responsibility stating that their actions were to avenge the death of a 15-year-old boy shot by a policeman in December. The boy's killing sparked the country's worst riots in decades.

Greece has faced targeted attacks by domestic terrorist groups for decades. But authorities had indicated they believed the problem had diminished after the arrest of several members of the country's deadliest group on Nov. 17 following a botched bombing in 2002. That group killed 23 people in nearly three decades of targeted bombings and shootings.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123494511070908661.html
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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:20 pm

Rioting flared up again on Thursday

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PostSubject: Re: Greek Fire - Who should pay the price of the Crash ? Greece riots   Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:52 pm

Greece is now paying 6% interest on its bonds: http://eupolitics.einnews.com/news/greece-interest-rates

Quote :
March 4 (Bloomberg) -- European 10-year bonds fell for a second day as gains in stocks and concern increasing sales of government debt will overwhelm the market sapped demand for the safety of fixed-income securities.

German bunds led the declines as U.S. stocks gained for the first time in six days. France and Spain plan to sell as much as 11 billion euros ($14 billion) of bonds tomorrow and Greece sold 7.5 billion euros of 10-year debt today. The difference in yield between two- and 10-year notes widened to the most in three weeks as traders added to bets the European Central Bank will cut its key interest rate.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aCmi_PcL9_sc
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