Sunday, May 13, 2012

Understanding Greece

'Once Upon a Time There Was a Middle Class'

With Greece entering its fifth year of recession, the message is loud and clear: Protracted austerity is killing the middle class and without it there cannot, by definition, be a political middle ground. It will gradually shrink to irrelevance, with its days of dominance consigned to a distant memory. 
Former members of the middle class who have now been reduced to near poverty are finding the message of more radical parties far more appealing than they would have, had they felt a semblance of financial stability.

-Athens News. Read the entire editorial.


In related news, at least 100,000 people protested in the streets of cities across Spain Saturday, rising against the country's austerity measures in a run-up to the one-year anniversary of the start of a movement that spread across the region.

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Madrid's central Puerta del Sol plaza, the birthplace of the protests against economic injustice. Tens of thousands more demonstrated in Barcelona, with smaller protests in other cities.

The protesters say they will continue their demonstrations through May 15, the first anniversary of the initial protests. Authorities say they won't allow anyone to camp overnight at the protest sites.

Unemployment in Spain is neatly 25%. Half of Spaniards under the age of 25 are unemployed.