The scene in Athens of riots, violence, fires as clashes in six Greek cities rage on due to austerity measures approved by the Parliament. The Greek riots were a response to more draconian cuts which passed by a vote of 199 to 74, with 27 abstentions, the Greek government may now move forward with its latest plan to cut spending. Some 15,000 government workers will be let go this year with a total of 150,000 jobs cut by the end of 2015. The minimum wage is slashed by 22% as the nation faces an unemployment rate of 21%. These measures and more are part of the latest bailout agreement between Greece and the banks of the European Union. The Dow Jones, Forex Trading and other markets are responding well to the news, but the specter still lingers as many see today′s actions as at best, a six-month reprieve. Many analysts are still worried that Greece will not resolve its Debt Crisis.
The clock is ticking as Greece faces defaulting on some 14.5 billion Euros worth of bonds in March. If all of the parties concerned, the European Union, the ECB, IMF, and German banks agree, then as much as 130 billion Euros will be allocated over time to aid Greece. Part of the bill passed by the Parliament today includes some 325 million Euros in immediate spending cuts by the Greek government. EuroZone finance ministers will meet on Wednesday and want a detailed plan from Greece about those cuts and how they will be achieved before they start approving any bailout money.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Greek union members took to the streets across the country as another weekend of nationwide strikes was held. In Athens and other cities, some crowds grew violent, clashing with police, setting cars and buildings on fire. These Greek riots are coming all too frequent now as the level of violence increases. The situation in Europe is still shaky at best for Greece to remain part of the European Union. The latest austerity measures approved by the Greek parliament today will reduce the government payroll by some 15,000 jobs this year. How will they managed to cut 150,000 jobs by 2015 is a huge question mark?