Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Athens Protesters Seek Way Forward

Wall Street Journal
June 30, 2011

Greece's antiausterity protest movement is down but not out.

On Wednesday, the best efforts of peaceful grass-roots activists, megaphone-touting labor unionists and stone-throwing anarchists failed to stop Greece's parliament from approving a widely hated austerity package that ordinary Greeks expect will deepen their economic misery.

The next threat to the protest movement's momentum is Greece's hot summer doldrums.

But nearly everyone here expects the rising social discontent to result in a new wave of protests—by autumn at the latest.

For more than a year now, Athens's central plaza, Syntagma, or "Constitution," Square, has been the battered stage for an evolving social movement against austerity that has gained and lost momentum.

The protests have struggled with internal divisions over the role of violence and over what exactly the alternative to European-imposed austerity is.

But all in Syntagma Square agree on one thing: The country desperately needs another way out of the crisis.


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