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ATHENS/ Dmitri Deliolanes: I’ll tell you why my Greece is exploding in rage

DMITRI DELIOLANES talks about the situation in Greece, where thousands are protesting the impending austerity measures and many are wondering whether there are other solutions.

Protests in Greece   (Infophoto) Protests in Greece (Infophoto)

50 people were injured, including 40 police officers, and 22 were arrested in the violent clashes that occurred in Athens last night, while the government led by Papademos voted on the new measures to which they are entrusting the salvation of their country. In Syntagma Square in central Athens, in front of the Greek Parliament, and then in Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city, a growing number of people has been gathering since yesterday afternoon in opposition to the measures that aim to save Greece from bankruptcy and social chaos.

They are, in fact, draconian measures, made up of deregulation, the reduction by 20% of minimum wage, cuts in health care and local government, and the public sale of shares held by the government. Faced with the plan sought by the "triplet" consisting in the EU, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, which has bound the 145 billion in aid to further spending cuts, the largest unions, ADEDI and GSEE, immediately organized a demonstration in protest. Black bloc extremists from various organizations, however, infiltrated the peaceful protest, seeking confrontation with the police. There were incidents of urban warfare, with Molotov cocktails and paper bombs to which the police responded with tear gas and charged at the protesters. Extremists have burned banks, movie theaters, and shops. The news in the evening spoke of 80 thousand protesters in Athens and another 20 thousand in Thessaloniki. The events seem to tragically confirm the statement by Greece’s Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on the eve of the vote: "We have reached point zero". Ilsussidiario.net interviewed Dimitri Deliolanes, correspondent from Rome for the Greek public television channel "ERT" and author of the book "Come la Grecia" (“Like Greece”), which explains the dramatic situation in his country.

What do you think about the package of austerity measures under discussion in the Greek Parliament?
I do not think well of it at all. It is the continuation of the same line that has been adopted from the outset of the crisis, and that has not only not improved the condition of Greece so that Greece could pay its debts, but instead has caused a disastrous social and economic situation. Furthermore, it is impossible to manage this situation with a total debt of 300 billion euros, which has become an explosive issue.

Why do you think that austerity will damage the Greek economy?