greecing the rails

canadian correspondent brian stewart on why shoving austerity measures down greece’s throat might not be such a good idea

The weak Greek coalition government appears barely capable of surviving, and growing numbers of voters are turning to fringe parties on the far left or right.

What’s more, not only are the street demonstrations growing in size but they are being joined by increasing numbers of the middle class and store owners. Nervous security forces say the number of violent attacks has tripled in recent weeks.

Last November, the then-Greek government mysteriously purged the heads of the military high command and got rid of scores of army and navy officers, which caused speculation the move was aimed at warding off a possible military coup.

Such a coup doesn’t seem likely at the moment, but you can’t rule it out if Greece is shut out of the eurozone and national survival seems at stake.

Should Greece “blow,” as some fear, the shockwaves could create similar unrest in other weakened European nations, battered by imposed austerity and few prospects of growth.


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