Austerity: Greece On Fire

"Dec2008-riot-komotini-2" by Joanna - Πορεία και επεισόδια στην Νομική ΚομοτηνήςUploaded by geraki. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

Athens lit up in flames Wednesday night outside the parliament building where Greek lawmakers debated and ultimately voted to accept the terms proposed by the EU for a new bailout of $94 billion.

As many as 12,000 protesters marched in defiance and ultimately turned violent in their anger over the austerity measures announced by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Amid shouts of ‘betrayal’, firebombs and debris flew through the air at police who arrived in some 20 riot vans firing tear gas before making mass arrests.

The scene was all too expected after the nation’s government voted to do exactly what 60% of voters had rejected just 10 prior in the national referendum.

But this was the tough prospect facing the Tsipras government: choose between almost certain exit from the EU and probably financial collapse and an economic safety switch that would mean certain civil unrest at home.

The instability in Athens and elsewhere remains on high as it harkens back to a similar scene only a few years ago in which the government proposed similar austerity cuts.