Crunch time finally here in Greek debt crisis

It’s past 10pm, Sunday night in Syntagma Square, and the anti-austerity protest shows no sign of flagging.Under her now-moderately-famous ‘Unf— Greece’ placard (U2 use it in their current tour), veteran protester Panagiota Bletas is straightforward about exactly how her country should be ‘unf—ed’.

“We need to fight austerity,” she says. “The whole of Europe, not just Greece. Nations can’t live under these conditions.”

Austerity has left her country ravaged by unemployment and many remaining wages below the poverty line, she says. Money that comes into Greece leaves straight away, back into the pockets of its creditors.

“These are war conditions.”

Around her on the city’s main square, round the corner from the Parthenon, thousands of young and old mill about, chatting about this or that, clapping along to the music, arguing passionately about politics, or taking selfies in front of banners.

This is not an angry protest, but a determined one.

They know that time is running out. This time maybe for real.

“I think there are more expectations now, on every side – everyone knows this is coming to an end, one way or another,” says political blogger Michalis Panagiotakis.

The Greek crisis has been a moment that never quite happens. Eurocrats are experts at kicking cans down roads, and each time Greece’s economy has circled the plughole there has been a brief splash of cash from the European money tap.

Full article: Crunch time finally here in Greek debt crisis (The Age)

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