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From the Editorís Desk
Greek crisis will deepen
22 June 2011
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has reshuffled his cabinet last week and received a vote of confidence from his own party, PASOK, to see through an IMF imposed harsh austerity bill, the target of major protests.
The move followed a Papandreou offer to step down and form a unity government with main opposition party New Democracy, a move which failed to come to fruition this time but it should not be ruled out on a later date.
Papandreou's move to reshuffle his Cabinet, aims to bolster his drive to push through a new 5-year campaign of tax rises, spending cuts and sell-offs of state assets to receive a new bailout and a 12-billion-euro to pay back debt by August.
Thousands of activists and unionists are protesting on a daily basis and many of them have been camping for almost a month at Athens's central Syntagma square on the parliament's front steps to try to stop lawmakers from debating the austerity measures that they hope to pass by the end of the month.
"We want them out. Obviously these measures are not going to get us out of the crisis, they want only us to pay for it and not the big business. I want the debt to be erased. If this doesn't happen, there is no exit for Greece", said one protester, Antony Vatselas, a 28-year-old mechanical engineer. His views are representative of how the majority of Greek people feel about the situation.
One needs to note that the Government has already imposed harsh austerity measures. Worker's salaries and pensions have been slashed by more than 1/3. Precious assets of the Greek people (telecommunications, power, ports, airports etc) which were the main source of Government revenue in previous years, have been taken over by German, Chinese and other foreign companies. Borrowing more money to pay debts will not achieve anything and the Greek people seem determined not to accept any more austerity measures. We are unable to predict what will happen in the future but one thing is certain: There is no solution in sight and the crisis will deepen.
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