Greece Simmers as Austerity Plan Backfires

Unrest predicted as unemployment soars
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2010 6:53 AM CDT
Greece Simmers as Austerity Plan Backfires
Protesting truck drivers argue with riot police outside the Ministry of Transport in Athens.   (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

The Greeks are still broke and they're getting angrier about it. An austerity plan meant to put the country back on the road to economic health has plunged Greece into a depression, with the unemployment rate approaching 70% in some areas. Almost a fifth of stores in Athens have declared bankruptcy and with things set to get worse instead of better, some analysts predict widespread civil unrest is on the way.

There will be another wave of layoffs next month, with "extreme social consequences," warns an Athens University professor of political science, who has appeared on TV warning Greeks of hard times ahead. Angry workers say they've lost faith in the unions and all the country's political parties. "If you take away my family's bread, I'll take you down—the government needs to know that," an unemployed shipbuilder tells Der Spiegel. "And don't call us anarchists if that happens! We're heads of our families and we're desperate." (More greece debt stories.)

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