Greek elections: Top contending parties in dead heat, neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn retains parliament seat

As everyone figures Greece is doomed no matter what, and no one really understands the make up of all the various parties anyway, the news grabber will be the notorious neo-Nazi party, Golden Dawn, that snagged headlines last time around.

It seems the publicity didn’t do their cause any harm as they look to grab between 6.0 and 7.5 percent. Last time they got 7%.

Times of Israel – ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The two top contenders in an election crucial for Greece, Europe and the world were in a dead heat Sunday, exit polls showed, with Greek voters apparently polarized over the harsh austerity measures demanded by international bailouts.

According to Israel’s Channel 2 News, the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn was reelected to parliament garnering between 6.0 and 7.5 percent of the vote.

As central banks stood ready to intervene in case of financial turmoil, Greece held its second national election in just six weeks to try to select a new government after an inconclusive ballot on May 6. The outcome of Sunday’s vote could determine whether Greece is forced to leave the joint euro currency, a move that could drag down other European countries and have potentially catastrophic consequences for the global economy.

An exit poll carried out by five polling companies for Greece’s major television channels projected the conservative New Democracy party as coming in with between 27.5 and 30.5 percent of the vote, with the anti-bailout radical left Syriza party at between 27 and 30 percent.

Another exit poll carried out for a separate TV station projected Syriza as possibly being marginally ahead, at between 25 and 31 percent compared to New Democracy’s 25 to 30 percent.

Neither party will have enough seats in the 300-member Parliament to form a government, meaning talks on forming a coalition government will almost certainly begin Monday.

The two parties vying to win have starkly different views about what to do about the €240 billion ($300 billion) in bailout loans that Greece has been given by international lenders.

Syriza head Alexis Tsipras, a 37-year-old former student activist, has vowed to cancel the terms of Greece’s international bailout deal and repeal its austerity measures — a move many think will force Greece to leave the 17-nation eurozone.

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras says his top priority is to stay in the euro but has promised to renegotiate some terms of the bailout.

Whichever party comes first in Sunday’s vote gets a bonus of 50 seats in Parliament.  (more >>>)

1000 business a week closing down in Greece

Good grief. What must that be like?

Vote back Obama and a Democrat majority in the senate and we’ll all know soon enough.

The Greek Reporter, via Gateway Pundit - While Greek politicians squabble over who can – or can’t – form a coalition government in the wake of May 6 elections in which anti-austerity rage caused a fractured result, more than 1,000 businesses in Greece are closing up shop each week, victims of a deep recession caused by pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions that have made many Greeks simply stop spending on anything than goods needed for their survival.

Figures released by the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce showed that retail sales during the Greek Easter period were down 18 to 21 percent in the apparel/footwear category and 11-13 percent at department stores compared to last year, despite offerings of up to 60-90 percent off. Shoppers in major retail stores reported seeing almost no one buying in recent days as political instability over the elections and expected new elections have rattled Greeks as much as European officials who fear Greece could be forced out of the Eurozone of countries using the euro and return to its ancient drachma, completing the country’s economic collapse. Turnover was also down from 2011, declining to $5.82 billion from $6.46 billion in 2022.

Protestors rain down firebombs on Athens police

Coming to a city near you…

The Blaze – ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Riots engulfed central Athens and at least 10 buildings went up in flames in mass protests late Sunday as lawmakers prepared for a historic parliamentary vote on harsh austerity measures demanded to keep the country solvent and within the eurozone.

TV footage showed a three-story corner building completely consumed by flames with riot officers looking on from the street, and firefighters trying to douse the blaze. A closed cinema, a bank, a mobile phone dealership, a glassware store and a cafeteria were among the burning buildings, the fire department said. There were no report of people trapped inside.  (more >>>)

Video: Students, Police Clash in Greece

Coming to a city near you.

High school kids who have known nothing but a socialist welfare state go berserk in Athens.

Dec 6, 2011 by – Protesting high school students hurled rocks and bottles during clashes with police Tuesday during a rally to mark the third anniversary of the fatal police shooting of a teenager in central Athens.

New massive riots break out in Greece

Greece continues its descent into anarchy. Looks like it is going to be a very long night and couple of days for Greek security. The “Occupy Wall Street” crowd will no doubt feel encouraged.

News.com.au – POLICE and demonstrators clashed as more than 125,000 protestors flooded Athens and other Greek cities today after unions called a two-day general strike against a new austerity bill.

Police fired tear gas as they came under attack with firebombs outside the parliament building in the capital, while some 200 youths hurled themselves at a steel fence.

A union leader said the mobilisation ahead of tomorrow’s vote in parliament was the largest so far against austerity measures gripping the country for nearly two years in a bid to stave off bankruptcy.

“Today and tomorrow is the greatest general strike, the greatest mobilisation by the Greek people against the unfair, anti-social and ineffective measures brought by the government and its creditors,” said Yiannis Panagopoulos, head of the main GSEE union, representing private sector workers.

Police in some areas said participation was the highest in a decade.

The largest turnout was in Athens where some 70,000 people converged on central Syntagma Square, where parliament is located, while other large protests were held in Thessaloniki, Patras and Heraklion, police said.

Authorities in Athens threw a cordon of riot police buses and a steel fence in front of parliament and shut down two metro train stations in the area.

Four youths were arrested at the start of the demonstration, police said, with reports saying firebombs were found in their possession.

“Forward people, it’s now or never to throw out the government, the IMF and the EU,” said a banner carried by leftist demonstrators.

“The government must fall now,” said another borne by Communists.

Greeks riot again over austerity and stuff

Greek youths are tearing up the city, again. The socialists, communists, anarchists, unionists, and other riffraff are have a blast battling police.

It’s only a matter of time before it spreads to the U.S.. All those ‘flash mobs’ will be giddy over the chance to really let loose. The Leftists, anarchists, and unionists are just awaiting their marching orders.

 MSNBC - Riot police fired tear gas at youths hurling rocks and setting trash bins on fire near the Greek finance ministry Tuesday, trying to quell the anger unleashed by a general strike as parliament debated new cost-cutting measures.

The latest austerity plan must pass in two parliamentary votes Wednesday and Thursday if Greece is to receive bailout funds from the EU and the IMF that will keep it from becoming the first eurozone nation to default on its debts.

The clashes with police came at the start of a two-day general strike called by unions furious that the government’s new euro28 billion ($40 billion) austerity program will slap taxes on minimum wage earners and other struggling Greeks.

The measures come on top of other spending cuts and tax hikes that have sent the Greek unemployment rate soaring to over 16 percent.

More than 5,000 police were deployed to the centre of the capital to deal with expected trouble, as a crowd officials estimated at some 20,000 rallied in Syntagma Square, in front of the parliament building.

The rally was initially peaceful but by early afternoon, smaller groups of youths numbering in the hundreds set trash bins on fire and hurled rock chipped off buildings in the square at riot police who responded with tear gas.

Seven people hurt
Three police officers were injured by flying stones and one person was stabbed during fights between rival groups of young demonstrators.

Police also said three people were treated for breathing difficulties.

Protesters set fire to a communications truck equipped with a mobile telecoms transmitter which they had apparently mistaken for a TV truck and sprayed with slogans attacking the media and banks.

Clouds of white smoke swirled above the square and police with shields and riot helmets stood by ready to move but a peaceful demonstration continued alongside the violence and some protest leaders appealed to the crowd not to disperse. (more >>>)

Greece: Athens roils with more anti-austerity riots

Strikes, violence, and arrrests, oh my. More Greek riots.

Unionists, Marxists, Socialists, Leftists, anarchists… The base of the Democrat party. Coming to a town near you, circa 2012. It’s what they do.

UK Daily Mail - Protesters have hurled stones and yoghurt at Greek riot police during angry protests in the capital Athens.

A 24-hour general strike saw thousands of anti-austerity protesters descend on Syntagma Square, Athens, to demonstrate against potential tax hikes and cuts.

It comes after the European Commission revealed Britain and other eurozone governments could be forced to bail out the country again with an extra £17.6billion to avert economic meltdown.

The European Commission briefing paper has warned that the extra money is needed to recapitalise Greek banks to allow Athens time to cope with debt crisis.

The news comes after Greece was given the lowest sovereign debt rating in the world, ‘CCC’, by rating agency Standard & Poor’s.

A further cash reserve could also be needed for emergency bank liquidity if the European Central Bank refuses to accept downgraded government bonds as collateral.

But critics, led by Europe’s central bankers, have warned the German debt exchange plan could provoke a risk of default.

Christian Noyer, Bank of France governor, told CNN: ‘If despite everything you try to reduce the debt and you provoke a risk of default, you’ll have to finance the entire Greek economy.’

Mario Draghi, incoming European Central Bank president, said: ‘All in all, the costs seem to outweigh the benefits.’

Any decision to fund another bail out will prove very unpopular across the rest of Europe.

The average age of retirement in Greece is just 53, compared to 65 in Britain, and ministers are said to be keen on the Greek government imposing industrial changes to help it deal with its debt.

Britain, along with other eurozone countries and the IMF, funded a €110bn bail out in May 2010 to avoid financial meltdown.

But just a year later it emerged that Greece was unable to meet the terms of its rescue and would have to renegotiate the deal.

A second bailout is currently being negotiated within the EU.

European ministers are looking at three options to involve private creditors in any rescue programme.

These include a voluntary debt exchange, involving a possible seven-year extension of maturities on Greek government bonds.

Officials believe a debt exchange with 100 per cent participation would ‘virtually eliminate the need for official financing’ on top of the second wave of €57bn from the initial bail out programme.

The second and third options involve a voluntary ‘roll over’ of bonds, which are less likely to trigger a downgrade in value.  (more >>>)

Obama to help bailout Greece with money he doesn’t have

Obamanomics

It’s stunning to hear the biggest spender in world history lecture Greece and Europe about debt. What a fraud. And now he wants to help bail out Greece? Who is going to bail out America!

Obama is an economic illiterate who has never run so much as a lemonade stand. Furthermore, his so-called “dream team” of economic academics have all miserably failed and bailed on him. Yet, Obama knows just what Greece and the EU needs.

And while he’s at it, Obama manages to keep up the blame game, faulting everyone and everything but himself and his own loser policies for America sliding into a great depression. We are so screwed…

CNBC - President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged European countries and bondholders to prevent a “disastrous” default by Greece and pledged U.S. support to help tackle the country’s debt crisis.

Obama, whose political prospects have suffered from persistently high unemployment and ballooning U.S. debt, has pinpointed the euro zone crisis as one foreign “headwind” hitting the U.S. economy.

After a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he stressed the importance of German “leadership” on the issue – a hint that he expects Berlin to help – while expressing sympathy for the political difficulties European Union countries face in helping a struggling member state.

“I’m confident that Germany’s leadership, along with other key actors in Europe, will help us arrive at a path for Greece to return to growth, for this debt to become more manageable,” Obama said.

“But it’s going to require some patience and some time. And we have pledged to cooperate fully in working through these issues, both on a bilateral basis but also through international and financial institutions like the IMF.”

A proposal for a second Greek bailout package worth 80 billion to 100 billion euros over three years was taking shape, euro zone sources said.

Merkel, under political pressure at home to avoid being the financial savior for other struggling European countries, said Germany understood its role.

“We’ve seen that the stability of the euro as a whole will also be influenced if one country is in trouble,” she said.

“So we do see clearly our European responsibility and we’re shouldering that responsibility, together with the IMF.” With U.S. unemployment at 9.1 percent, Obama has blamed outside forces for impeding the economy, including high fuel prices, the earthquake in Japan and the euro zone crisis.

“America’s economic growth depends on a sensible resolution of this issue,” he said.

“It would be disastrous for us to see an uncontrolled spiral and default in Europe because that could trigger a whole range of other events.”

Reforms, Foreign Policy

Obama said Greece had to make structural reforms and instill greater transparency in its economy. (more >>>)

Tens of thousands protest Greek austerity measures

Coming to a city year you.

SF Examiner - Tens of thousands of protesters angry about the government’s austerity policies demanded Sunday that the heavily indebted country stop paying its creditors.

Many protesters carried signs and wore stickers reading “we don’t owe, we won’t sell, we won’t pay” in the demonstration outside parliament. The signs referred to planned privatizations that the government has agreed to speed up in order to make up for a shortfall in projected revenue.

Greece was saved from default in May 2010 with a €110 billion ($160 billion) bailout package of loans from the International Monetary Fund and European Union. In return, it imposed strict austerity measures last year, including public salary cuts, pension reductions and broad tax hikes.

The measures have angered ordinary Greeks, sparking frequent protests.

In the latest one, demonstrators chanted “thieves, thieves” while pointing at the parliament building. Several banners and placards called for a referendum on an updated bailout package the government is said to have agreed with its creditors.

The protest was the 12th in as many days, and was modeled after the demonstrations that took place in Spain last month.

Police officials said there were an estimated 60,000 protesters, while participants said there were many more. There is no central organization to the protests, which rely on scattered groups to spread the word through social media.

The crowds at recent protests have steered clear of partisan affiliations and at one, the protesters booed union members from the state electricity company who tried to raise their own banners. In general, the protests have been peaceful.

In the northern city of Thessaloniki, an estimated 20,000 took part in a peaceful march. There was a minor scuffle when a group of anarchists went to a nearby book fair and tossed European Union publications to the street. Crowds gathered in several other Greek cities, such as Patras in western Greece and Iraklio on the island of Crete.

The protesters vow to keep up the pressure indefinitely, although many have set June 25 as the crucial date, when parliament will vote on an updated fiscal austerity program covering 2012-2015. The provisions of the program will be discussed at a Cabinet meeting Monday.

More Greek riots and a fire sale

Coming to a city near you.

Greek Leftists, unionists, anarchists, and other disgruntled persons took to the streets again and rioted up a storm.

This came as the Greek government announced that it having a fire sale, and putting up various assets, like the former Olympic stadia, to help it service its debt. Greece hopes to raise £44billion from the sale of government-owned land in the next four years.

This isn’t anything new for socialist-plagued Europe. Back in January I reported on how both England and France were also putting prime assets up for sale.

As America has more debt than the rest of the world combined, it is only a matter of time before the U.S. is forced to sell its assets. Isn’t the welfare state grand!

UK Daily Mail -

  • Petrol bombs, stun grenades and tear gas thrown during clashes in Athens
  • Government aims to sell off casinos, marinas and former Olympics venues to service debt
  • Greece could require second bail out of 60billion euros
  • Demonstrations against harsh austerity measure boil over into riots

Marinas, casinos and former Olympic venues could be up for grabs after Greece announced a massive fire sale to help service its debt.

The Greek government said it was putting vast areas of state-owned land on the market to raise £44billion in the next four years.

Nationalised companies could also be privatised to help raise the necessary capital to ensure it does not default on debt payments.

It comes after intense pressure from Britain and other creditors to act to prevent debt restructuring that could have widespread effects across Europe.

British Chancellor George Osborne told The Times: ‘The issue for Greece is whether it lives up to its commitments.’

Officials have said there is a political drive to ensure Greece can service its debt after a 110billion euro bailout by the EU and IMF last year.

A general strike held today has seen most public services grind to a halt across the country, while thousands marched through Athens to protest against harsh austerity measures.The socialist government is planning to pass further cutbacks aimed at saving an estimated 23billion euros.The strike suspended all train and ferry services, grounded flights for four hours and disrupted public transport in the capital.

Around 10,000 members of the communist-led PAME union marched peacefully through the centre of Athens.Greece’s two main unions are also planning another demonstration later today, expected to be closely monitored by police after previous protests degenerated into riots. (more >>>)

Jewish holy books torched in Greek synagogue attack dated back to 15th century

The synagogue in Corfu, Greece contained priceless Jewish holy books that survived the Holocaust thanks to some righteous gentiles. Sadly, these precious books went up in smoke at the hands of anti-Semitic arsonists on the Jewish holiday of Passover.

       “After the war they gave us all our books back,” Shoshi said. “We had books from the 15th, 16th and 17th century from Trieste, Padova and Verona. Now they are gone.”

Of course, immediately upon hearing of the desecration, Jews around the world strapped on suicide belts and blew up infidels, or shot them, or cut off their heads.

Oh wait… Wrong holy books, wrong religion.

Jews wept.

“It’s very difficult for us,” said Rabbi Shlomo Naftali, an Israeli rabbi who was flown over to Greece to conduct Passover ceremonies. “We stood around the books and cried. Now we’ll have to bury them.”

Ynet - Members of the Jewish community of Corfu gathered at the local synagogue on Wednesday around a pile of ashen prayer books set on fire by vandals the day before and wept.

“It’s very difficult for us,” said Rabbi Shlomo Naftali, an Israeli rabbi who was flown over to Greece to conduct Passover ceremonies. “We stood around the books and cried. Now we’ll have to bury them.”

On Tuesday morning arsonists broke into the island’s only Jewish place of worship, piled prayer books and Torah scrolls on the bima and torched the ancient texts, some of which were hundreds of years old.

Entrance to Corfus synagogue

“They came at 3 AM, put all the books together and burned them,” said Vino Shohi, the former president of the Jewish community of Corfu. ”At first I was very upset. I was ashamed that something like this happened here in Corfu, but we have received the support of all the political parties and the archbishop. They all came out in support of us and told us they were our brothers.”

Most of the Jewish community of Corfu whose history dates back to antiquity was murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust. Nowadays there are fewer than 100 Jews left on the Greek island. Their sacred books, however, survived the war thanks to gentiles who were entrusted with their safekeeping.

“After the war they gave us all our books back,” Shoshi said. “We had books from the 15th, 16th and 17th century from Trieste, Padova and Verona. Now they are gone.”

The Greek government strongly condemned the attack in a press release on Wednesday vowing to stamp out anti-Semitism in the Mediterranean nation.

“The burglary that took place in the Jewish Synagogue in Corfu and the destruction of sacred liturgical books is an immoral and appalling act, which the Greek government condemns in the strongest possible manner,” Giorgos Petalotis, a spokesman for the Greek government, said.     (the whole gyro >>)

Greek synagogue torched by anti-Semities on Passover holiday

Only about 150 Jews live on the island of Corfu, but apparently that is far too many for some. This was the third such attack in Greece in less than 2 years.

A similar attack on a synagogue on the island of Crete in 2010 destroyed hundreds of rare books.

Greece’s pre-war Jewish community was decimated by Nazi deportations and now numbers around 6,000 people.

Reuters - In the third such attack in Greece in less than 2 years, arsonists break into Corfu island synagogue, damage at least 30 prayer books.

Arsonists set fire to a synagogue on the Greek island of Corfu early on Tuesday, damaging prayer books but causing no injuries, in the third such attack in Greece in less than two years, police said.

The arson attack, staged just as the Passover festival was starting, alarmed the country’s dwindling Jewish community.

“The door was violated and two empty gasoline canisters were found in the synagogue,” said a police officer, who declined to be named. “At least 30 books were damaged in the blaze.”

About 150 Jews live on Corfu. The latest attack has alarmed Greece’s 8,000-strong community, which was decimated after the Nazis deported Jews to concentration camps in eastern Europe during World War II.

“We are very worried,” Moses Constantinis, head of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, told Reuters. “We hope the police act quickly and the culprits are found.”

In February last year, police arrested three men suspected of setting fire twice to a medieval synagogue on the island of Crete. The roof of the building and thousands of books and computers were damaged.

Greek riots resume, anarchists throw Molotov cocktails

Greeks are rioting over a proposed garbage dump. Or so the story goes. It’s symbolic of all of Europe. The whole continent is in the dumps.

UK Independent writes that by the end of the night, more than 20 people – including three riot policemen – had been treated in hospital. Just after midnight, a police officer’s home was attacked with firebombs, leaving three cars destroyed. The officer and his wife, who is also in the police force, and their four children were home at the time but unharmed, police said.

Sadly, it won’t be long before American Leftists and anarchists are rioting over the detritus the Obama regime has dumped on America.

AP - Greek riot police clashed with residents of a town outside Athens who were protesting plans to build a landfill to store the capital’s garbage. More than 20 were injured Thursday, officials said.

Three riot policemen and at least 20 suspected protesters were hospitalized after the clashes on the edge of the town of Keratea, police and public health officials said.

Protesters pelted riot police with rocks and firebombs. Officers responded with tear gas, which wafted through the town, sending residents scurrying for cover as a police helicopter flew overhead.

Earlier, another group of demonstrators cut a shoulder-high trench across a highway outside Keratea, which has been the scene of frequent riots and road blockades since December.

The planned garbage dump has prompted several months of violent protests from residents. Protest organizers argue the proposed landfill is too close to a residential area and would also damage an ancient site, which they say has not been properly excavated.   (the whole gyro >>)

Greek socialists show Madison unions how it’s done

The socialists, communists, and anarchists have once again taken to the streets in Greece. As is typical, the marches turned violent as rioters hurled Molotov cocktails at police. Even the Associated Press reports that many of the protestors wielded communist flags.

This is all coming to America sooner rather than later. What is going on in Madison and other cities is just a dress rehearsal, as we shall all see in time.

The Obama state-run media is whitewashing the protests in Madison and elsewhere, but the evidence is overwhelming that the unions leadership is composed of socialists and communists, and Barack Obama is both in their pocket and on their side. Dozens of other Leftists groups have rallied to their cause.

If American Leftists don’t find the perfect excuse to ‘go Greek’ in American streets during the next two years, they will certainly do so if Republicans retake the White House or score another massive victory in congress in 2012.

(h/t Blaze.com)