Second bailout leaves Greeks in the cold

A demonstrator waves flag in front of the parliament building in Athens, Greece.

Steve Chiotakis: Greece today said the second European bailout will give it some breathing space it needs.

And the country's leaders promised they wouldn't back down from the tough public spending cuts they
have agreed to make in order to get that rescue cash. But on the streets of Greece, people are angry by all the restrictions and cuts forced by the bailout. In fact, today, much of the country is shut down by a taxi strike, as cab drivers protest increased competition in their business.

From Athens, reporter Joanna Kakissis went to the streets and reports why some Greeks are so unhappy.

Joanna Kakissis: Christos Kouloutzos is a tire salesman in Athens. He says the first batch of international bailout loans issued last year did nothing to help the country.

In fact, he says the austerity measures that the government had to impose to get those loans only made Greeks poorer. He says a second bailout will mean more budget cuts and tax hikes -- and desperation for the average Greek who can't pay his bills.

Where is he going to get the money to survive, Kouloutzos says. He'd have to rob a bank, he says.

The second bailout is worth about $155 billion. The Greek finance minister called Europe's decision to give those loans a "great relief."

In Athens, I'm Joanna Kakissis for Marketplace


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