Entries in Lucas Papademos (3)


Greece Passes Austerity Measures to Get $170 Billion Bailout

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ATHENS, Greece) -- Greek demonstrators ran amuck through Athens on Sunday after Parliament passed unprecedented austerity measures to keep the country's government from default.

By a vote of 199-74, the members voted in favor of the plan that frees up $170 billion in bailout money from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Sunday's vote followed Prime Minister Lucas Papademos exhorting lawmakers to look at both sides of the issue and make the tough decision to avoid bankruptcy, or otherwise send the world economy into another recession since nearly all the money Greece has operated on for decades has came from foreign sources.

With the new austerity, Papademos also acknowledged the pain of the Greek people and the plan that "calls for sacrifices from a broad range of citizens who have already made sacrifices."

As lawmakers made their tough choice, Athens burned with thousands taking to the street to vandalize or loot stores and businesses.  Many feel that life as they have known it will change forever as half the workers are employed by the government, receiving a pension of 95 percent of their salary upon retirement.

The trio of foreign lenders is also making huge sacrifices to keep Greece propped up, writing off 70 percent of what Greece owes European banks in exchange for the government imposing higher taxes and deep cuts in social services.

Among the reductions Greeks can expect is the minimum wage slashed from 750 Euros to 500 Euros a month.  Unemployment, currently at 20 percent, can expect to rise with planned layoffs in the civil servants sector.

If Greece defaults on its debts, which are owned by European banks, it would cause a recession, making it far more difficult to get loans.  It would also limit U.S. exports, which would also affect the American economy.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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 Names Lucas Papademos New Prime Minister

ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images(ATHENS, Greece) -- After days of intense talks, Greece named former European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos its new prime minister on Thursday.

Papademos, 64, replaces George Papandreou, who agreed to resign from the position mid-way into his four-year term amid growing pressure over Greece's debt crisis.

According to the president's office, the new prime minister will form a new interim government, tasked with approving the latest European bailout package and pushing more cost-cutting austerity measures.

The new government is scheduled to be sworn in on Friday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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