Entries in Greece Bailout (2)


Violence Intensifies as Greek Parliament Debates Austerity Bill

People warm themselves by a fire on a baricade during the demonstration against the new austerity measures in Syntagma Square on February 12, 2012 in Athens, Greece. (Vladimir Rys/Getty Images)(ATHENS, Greece) -- Greece Prime Minister Lucas Papademos says his country faces "uncontrolled economic chaos" and a "social explosion" if it does not accept the European Union's latest austerity package.

According to the BBC, the Greek parliament is debating what many feel is an unfavorable austerity bill in exchange for a $170 billion bailout that would avoid default by the country. Papademos said failing to accept the package would "set the country on a disastrous adventure."

Such a scene has already begun to unfold in Athens between police and demonstrators, who were protesting the package Sunday for a second straight day. The BBC reports police have fired tear gas in an effort to deter protesters from acts of destruction. There were several reports of violence Sunday, as historic buildings, cafes, and cinemas were engulfed in flames.

Protesters were also throwing stones and petrol bombs at buildings outside parliament as demonstrations intensified on Athens' Syntagma Square.

Police estimate as many as 80,000 people have joined the demonstrations in Athens, according to the BBC.

A vote on securing a new bailout is expected Sunday night.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Greece Forms New Government Amid Financial Bailout

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(ATHENS) -- Greek political leaders were deep in talks to form a new government Monday after Prime Minister George Papandreou agreed late Sunday to step down.  Papandreou shook world markets and angered fellow European leaders last week when he called for a popular vote on a very unpopular EU bailout package.

The socialist government and opposition conservatives are now trying to agree on a coalition government to lead the country for the next 15 weeks, and perhaps more importantly, one that will approve the new European bailout package. 

The deal must be formally ratified before Greece can receive its next installment of bailout money next month: $178 billion to pay bills and avoid default.

With the immediate crisis averted in Greece, all eyes are now turning to Italy. The country’s cost to borrow money rose to a record high Monday, edging close to the level experts say is unsustainable. 

Like Greece, Italy is struggling with high debt and a lack of growth.  But Italy’s economy is much bigger than that of Greece.  It is Europe’s third-largest economy behind Germany and France, and there are fears that a debt crisis in Italy would simply be too big to fix.

Italy’s government is under pressure to pass economic reforms, yet it appears unable to do much of anything while Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is at the helm.  There were rumors Monday that the controversial PM would step down within hours.

But on his Facebook page, embattled PM made it clear he wasn’t going anywhere, at least not willingly.

"Rumors of my resignation are baseless,” Berlusconi said.  Parliament members may try to force him out with yet another confidence vote as early as Tuesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio