Greek Paliament to Vote on Austerity Measures Today

Helen Whalen Cohen

2/12/2012 9:58:00 AM - Helen Whalen Cohen

The Greek Parliament is voting on austerity measures today, in exchange for another eurozone bailout. Prime Minister Lucas Papademos warned that failure to pass the deal will lead to Greek bankruptcy and expulsion from the Eurozone.

Athens, Greece (CNN) -- The parliament in Greece is expected to vote Sunday on austerity measures demanded in return for a new eurozone bailout of the debt-stricken country.

In a speech Saturday evening, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos urged the Cabinet to approve the deal, warning of "social explosion, chaos" if it fails.

"The state will not be able to pay salaries and pensions or import basic goods" such as medicine and fuel, he warned, adding that "unemployment, which is currently unacceptably high, would increase even higher."

This announcement was, of course, accompanied by protests.

On Saturday, some isolated scuffles broke out as protesters rallied in Syntagma Square, in front of the Parliament building, but the mood was calmer than a day earlier.

Friday's protest dispersed after youths smashed pavements and began throwing stones and pieces of marble, as well as Molotov cocktails, at the police, who responded with stun grenades and teargas.

Nobody wants it to be this way, with violent protests and Greece selling state assets. Germany even suggested that Greece sell the Acropolis and the Parthenon to meet its obligations. Let's hope that after this vote, Greece is able to get its financial house in order.