Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Opposition calls for immediate election in Greece; BBC reports hostile reactions to the media due to role in crisis

Rumors are rampant that Greece may be facing immediate elections as its debt crisis continues to cause widespread civic unrest.

Prime Minister George Papandreou met with the President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias this afternoon, though the meeting broke up without any statement released. Meanwhile, leaders on the left, Aleka Papariga, general secretary of the Greek Communist Party, and Alexis Tsipras, representing a coalition of leftists parties, called for early elections, partially in response to growing public demonstrations against the austerity measures being instituted by the government.
Parliamentary sessions continued despite crowds of protestors. But only around 30 of the 300 MPs attended the sessions, according to the Athens News, an English language newspaper.

Paul Mason, writing for the BBC, today reports that protestors are particularly upset at the media, blaming the press for siding with "Big Capital" and against the interests of the Greek population. While Mason writes that be believes that the mass protests show that the unrest is revealing a "Greece against the world" mentality, commenters on the BBC site are for the most part sympathetic to the protesters.

A 24 hour general strike has crippled public services in Greece, though journalists called off a possible strike in order to cover events in the nation.

Update: The Beeb just tweeted that the Prime Minister has offered to resign, but only if a unity government supports the EU bailout. Since it is the bailout that is causing the protests, and actually reinforces the impression that the government is more concerned with representing the position of the banks than his constituents.