Greek Vote on Austerity Measures

In Greece in the midst of a 48-hour general strike, legislators have voted to approve a crucial piece of new legislation today. The EU, the IMF, and the Greek government say Greeks must swallow the sweeping package of austerity measures, reduce their standard of living further still... in order that the government can keep servicing its debt, paying back banks and creditors.

Today's guest host was Mike Finnerty.

Part One of The Current


It's Wednesday June 29th.

The second day of a general strike in Greece to protest the government's efforts to avert financial catastrophe.

Because nothing revives a dying economy like staying home from work.

This is the Current.

Greek Vote - Maria Kagkelidou

Once again this morning, protesters and police are exchanging volleys in the streets of Athens ... trading rocks and molotov cocktails, for tear gas and stun grenades. The protesters are pushing back against the latest proposed package of austerity measures -- 41-Billion-dollars worth of job cuts, spending reductions, privatizations and tax increases. The government has already cut pensions by nearly a third and raised the retirement age by as much as 10 years ... all part of a bid to keep the country from defaulting on nearly 500-Billion-dollars worth of debt.

Maria Kagkelidou is a freelance reporter, she's in Athens this morning and has been speaking to people on the streets. We heard from the people in Athens with their reaction on the vote.

The Greek Parliament has now approved the new austerity measures ... one of the conditions it had to meet in order to release the latest tranche of a bailout from the European Union and avoid defaulting on its debt. In the meantime, unemployment stands at 16 per cent, the economy has been shrinking for three years and the mood in Athens is ugly. We were joined by Maria Kagkelidou in Athens to give us the latest.

Greek Vote - George Dimitrakopoulos

Greek-Canadians were watching today's vote carefully and nervously. George Dimitrakopoulos is among them. He's a member of Greece's opposition New Democracy Party, it opposes the austerity measures from the political right. George Dimitrakopoulos was in Richmond Hill, Ontario ... just north of Toronto.

Greek Vote - Anastasios Moussas

Anastasios Moussas has a different take on the austerity measures. He's the Executive Director of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad in Canada. He lives in Toronto and he travels back and forth regularly between Canada and Greece. He was in Athens this morning.

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