Business, Finance & Economics

Greek debt crisis: It's getting ugly (UPDATED)

greek_protests_06_15.jpg

A demonstrator throws a stone at riot police during a protest against plans for new austerity measures June 15, 2011 in Athens, Greece.

Credit:

Milos Bicanski

It's another typical day in debt-ridden Greece: angry protests, a general strike, government disagreement about what to do, and an uneasy sense that the country — and potentially the European economy — smells worse than week-old feta cheese.

In the latest unrest, thousands of angry people swarmed Syntagma sqare in Athens, protesting Prime Minister George Papandreou's 5-year austerity plan to head off default.

The Greek government's desperate measures include tax hikes, spending cuts, and a so-far-unsuccessful firesale of state property.

Nobody is happy.

The police were out in full force today in Athens, lobbing stun grenades at club-wielding, rock-throwing Greeks:

"We want them out. Obviously these measures are not going to get us out of the crisis," Antony Vatselas, a 28-year-old mechanical engineer told Reuters. "They want only us to pay for it. And they are doing nothing. I want the debt to be erased. If this doesn't happen, there is no exit for Greece."

Others shouted "Theives, traitors. Where did the money go?"

Update:

Greek PM Papandreou has now offered to reshuffle his cabinet, and will face a confidence vote Thursday.