Athens explodes into violence as votes are cast

As Greek MPs met to vote on whether they would accept tough economic laws in order to secure the bailout offered by its fellow Eurozone nations, people took to the streets of Athens to show they are not happy with the deal.

The parliamentary debate began at 10pm Athens time and protesters began gathering in Athens’ Syntagma Square outside. There have been many protests and gatherings in recent months as the economic crisis rolled out, however these have been largely peaceful.

It didn’t take long for the gathering to become violent, with some protestors throwing rocks at police and setting fire to cars.

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The situation escalated with small groups throwing what appear to be molotov cocktails; and police responding with tear gas.

 

Around 11pm, Athens time (6am in Australia), Greece’s parliament passed the reform package. Prior to the vote, Prime Minister Alex Tsipras urged parliament to back the bailout saying: “We don’t believe in it but we are forced to adopt it.”

Some of the reforms include cutting the pension, privatising Greece’s national electricity network, and more taxes.

Mr Tsipras has faced a major backlash from his socialist party, which came to power promising to end austerity measures in Greece. According to the ABC, Mr Tspiras acknowledged that split in his party could put his position as prime minister under pressure.

For most of the people of Greece, the bailout deal represents the exact opposite of what they wanted – and what they told the government in the referendum just weeks ago.

Do you think the Greece’s government has let its people down? Or should the people trust the government to get their country back on track?