A week of ups and downs for Greece
Communist affilited protesters wave flags as they participate in the PAME (Panergatiko Agonistiko Metopo or All-Workers Militant Front) union rally at Syntagma Square in central Athens on July 11, 2013. Greece's main unions will hold a general strike on July 16 to oppose a new round of civil service job cuts announced by the government to secure EU-IMF loans.
There were all kinds of highs and lows for the belleaguered European nation this past week.
The International Monetary Fund confirmed that billions in bailout funding would be making its way to Greek shores -- but that it had to continue its program of austerity, and its outlook was still unknown. Then later in the week, the IMF stated that Greece wouldn't face a financial gap until August of next year.
At the same time, the government's TV network -- which was shut down a month ago in a cost-cutting measuring -- again opened for business, in a stripped-down version of its former self.
This coming week will probably mean more rollercoaster riding, especially with the news that mayors from across Greece plan to suspend municipal services -- government offices, garbage collection, those kinds of things -- for three days to protest another round of austerity induced layoffs.
Giorgos Christides works for Germany's Spiegel Online* in Thessaloniki.
"I don't think there's anyone in Greece who thinks our creditors would stop lending," Christides said. "I don't think anyone wants a failed state in Europe right now. But still, austerity is very harsh."