30-Jun-11 World View — Violence Escalates In Athens After Austerity Approval


This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

Violence escalates in Athens after Parliament approves austerity plan

Greek Parliament applauds passage of austerity plan on Wednesday (Kathimerini)
Greek Parliament applauds passage of austerity plan on Wednesday (Kathimerini)

Greece’s Parliament backed Prime Minister George Papandreou’s austerity plan on Wednesday, by a wider than expected margin — 155 to 138, with five blank ballots and two absences. However, there will be another, and possibly more difficult vote on Thursday on the implementation details of the plan. Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said, “We have taken a big step. Tomorrow we will take the second so that I can go on Sunday to see my Eurogroup partners with real proof of the country’s credibility.” Kathimerini

Violence escalated in central Athens on Wednesday after the austerity plan passed. Some 500 people were treated for injuries and breathing problems from teargas, and more than 30 protesters were taken to the hospital. Amnesty International accused the police of “excessive force” and overuse of teargas. In the weeks to come, as the harsh austerity measures kick in, and more young people are left unemployed with time on their hands, much more extreme violence is expected. Kathimerini

Mystery of Hugo Chávez deepens

Hugo Chávez has canceled the inaugural summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which Chavez was due to co-chair on July 5-6. This is a personal blow for Chavez, who has been one of the driving forces behind CELAC, which aims to counter the influence of the United States in Latin American politics, and which he hopes will further his ambitions as a regional powerbroker. The cancellation deepens the mystery surrounding Chavez’s medical condition, as he recovers in a Havana, Cuba, hospital from an operation on a pelvic abscess. Officials released a video of Chavez, in order to prove that he’s still alive and not in critical condition, but rumors are spreading that he might have had plastic surgery, or he could be hiding a more serious ailment. AFP

Britain: Iran is carrying out secret nuclear missile tests

As we reported yesterday, Iran has announced firing of test missiles that can reach U.S. bases and Israel. On Wednesday, Britain’s foreign secretary William Hague told the Commons that, since last October, Iran has been carrying out secret tests of missiles that could be used to carry nuclear material. If true, those tests would be in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions forbidding Iran from developing a military nuclear program. Telegraph

Irish ship will not join Gaza flotilla after ‘sabotage’

An Irish ship, the MV Saoirse, will not take part in the planned “Freedom Flotilla II” to Gaza because it has been sabotaged, according to a passenger. Divers found that a piece was missing from one of the propeller shafts. “This was the type of sabotage that endangered human life. They put divers under the boat who cut a piece out of the propeller shaft. That means that the damage would have happened gradually and what would have happened eventually is that the propeller would have come up through the bottom of the boat, caused a flood in the engine room and would have caused the boat to sink.” Irish Times

France admits that it’s supplying arms to Libya rebels

France’s military has admitted that it air dropped weapons early in June to Libyan rebels fighting in the western part of the country, southwest of the capital Tripoli. The admission raises questions about the UN mandate of the humanitarian kinetic military action. According to an African Union official,

“What worries us is not who is giving what, but simply that weapons are being distributed by all parties and to all parties. We already have proof that these weapons are in the hands of al-Qaeda, of traffickers. These weapons will contribute to the destabilisation of African states.”



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