Greek austerity protests - in pictures
This week saw "the largest demonstration in living memory" in Greece as 500,000 people took to the streets in Athens to protest against a fresh round of austerity measures being voted through by the Greek parliament. Wednesday and Thursday saw a two-day general strike across the country. The General Confederation of Greek Trade say that 99% of small businesses and shops closed during the strike.
"Greece is split in two. On the one side, politicians and bankers, rich tax evaders and media barons. Despite party differences, they are united in supporting the most class-driven and violent social and cultural restructuring West Europe has seen.
The ‘other’ Greece that does not get much hearing in the media includes the overwhelming majority of the population. It was in evidence yesterday when according to the Greek TUC up to 500,00 people took to the streets in Athens and in every other town and most shops remained closed. It was the largest demonstration in living memory. The attempt to divide civil servants (ritually presented as lazy and corrupt) from private sector employees (the ‘tax evading’ plumbers) has misfired. The only success the Papandreou government can boast for is the abolition of the old right/left division which dominated politics since the communist-led resistance during the German occupation and its replacement by a new divide between the elites and the people. The Europeans will decide soon how to deal with the debt, with the Greek government a sad observer of its preordained future on the sidelines. But once the only business Europe cares for has been settled, the political endgame will start in Athens. At that point, the ‘other’ Greece will formulate history’s indictment."
Odysseas Galinos Paparounis, a student at the AKTO College of Art and Design in Athens, was out on the streets on Wednesday and Thursday, camera in hand. View his images below.
"The 19th October demonstrations in Athens were the biggest the country has witnessed in the last decades. Hundreds of thousands participated in the protests, people tried to enter the Parliament but the riot police once again tear gassed the center of the city showing the world the ugly face of the Greek political system."
"There were fewer protesters, more riot police and for the first time in years, the Communist Party that joined the other major greek syndicates and left parties. It all ended with a member of the C.P. being dead. As I write this lines, the riot police is occupying Syntagma square and Athens is - once more - a ghost-city…"
All images: odysseagr (Odysseas Galinos Paparounis).