Greece’s financial problems continue and the threat of the EU parting ways with Greece looms. For some months now it has been clear that Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, did not want to eject Greece if she could possibly help it. It is equally clear, however, that Germany and the other creditor countries do not want to commit more billions of euros to pull Greece out of its economic death spiral.
European leaders decided Greece must meet specific guidelines and milestones to remain in good standing with the EU. The precise amount needed to cover Greece’s fiscal gap next year will not be assessed fully until a review is completed. This requires Greece to meet the agreed stipulations of its lenders, such as rounding off the first phase of a public sector mobility scheme. European officials noted that Greece could survive without receiving its next loan tranche until spring, thereby underlining that the troika is not in a rush to complete the review.
I wonder about their retirement age 🙂
Imagine a right wing political group that gains in popularity due to a poor economy and then a rap star is shot by one of their members? What do you think if a Tea Party member shot Ice-T? Well, that’s kind of what happened in Greece. The Golden Dawn party was rising in popularity and became the third most popular political party in Greece. It was labeled a neo-nazi group campaigning for anti-austerity and anti-immigrant issues.
Here is the catch, the government gives funds to political party. Athens distributed 11 million euros for elected parties in 2013, including 873,000 euros ($1.20 million) for Golden Dawn.
After entering parliament last year and appearing virtually immune to frequent accusations of violence against immigrants and leftists, the party has been on the defensive since the fatal stabbing of 34-year-old Pavlos Fissas. The killing prompted prosecutors to investigate party lawmakers over a series of crimes and Prime Minister Antonis caused Samaras’s conservative-led government to probe the police force. Samaras has vowed to wipe out the party and described it as, a “gang of neo-Nazis,” that threatens democracy.
Golden Dawn, with a red-and-black swastika-like emblem, has tapped into Greeks’ anger at the political class and won support with promises like ridding Greece of immigrants and sealing its borders with landmines. Imagine that in the US…landmines!
But since Fissas’s killing, the party’s support has fallen by about a third and parliament voted to cut off the state funding to Golden Dawn.