Police in Athens, Greece used tear gas on a small group of teens as demonstrators marched through Greece. The strike grounded flights, "disrupted services" and even had Greek youths hurling rocks into crowds of demonstrators. Authorities shot back with teargas to thwart the stone throwing. The protest was otherwise peaceful. A crowd numbering in tens of thousands flooded the capital, chanting "No sacrifices, the rich should pay for the crisis." The protest is response to tax increases, wage freezes, and pension plan changes.
The current financial crisis in Greece has evoked global response and upset the "euro zone." European governments heavily attacked Greece's fiscal management and double standards, as well as a failing leadership. The Czech Republic claims Greece will never overcome the double digit, looming budget deficit the Socialist country is facing.
"You simply put some amounts of money in the next year ... it is what everybody did and Greece did it to a lesser extent than Italy for example," Greece's Deputy Prime Minister Theodros Pangalos responded, via BBC World Service radio. Pangalos' statement cited Italy, France, and Belgium's past financial difficulties. Pangalos went on to say: "We ask the government not to give in to the desires of the markets, to set people's needs as a priority and adopt a mix of economic and social policies that won't lead to recession but to jobs."
Greek opinion polls have reflected government support to slow further "deteriorating public finances." European Union partners expect the worst from Greece's financial crisis.