Europe tells Greece to hurry up and wait

A Greek 'Indignant' hold a pan during a protest in front of the Greek parliament for the fourth continuous week against the new austerity package.

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: European Union Inspectors will visit Athens tomorrow, the same day the Greek parliament faces a key vote to keep the government in power. European leaders over the weekend said they would wait until next month before deciding on Greece's latest bailout loan.

From Athens, Joanna Kakissis filed this report.


Chanting, drums.

JOANNA KAKISSIS: For the last three weeks, young protesters have swarmed the square across the street from the Greek parliament. They play drums and chant slogans with choice swear words to describe their politicians.

They don't support the budget cuts. In fact, they want Prime Minister George Papandreou and his government to step down. Papandreou reshuffled his cabinet last week and is vowing to stay in office.

Kostas Ifantis, a political science professor at the University of Athens, says the current government may survive tomorrow's vote, but that doesn't mean it will survive much longer.

KOSTAS IFANTIS: As things stand today, an election might be the best course. There is no point in proceeding like that, with a government that is politically dead.

And a future Greek government may not support the major cuts the rest of Europe wants, and that would be a nightmare scenario. Without those cuts, Greece could default on its massive public debt as early as next month.

In Athens, I'm Joanna Kakissis for Marketplace.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...