Strikes in Greece Turn DeadlyMay 5, 2010 By: Jena Tesse Fox
As if Greece's troubles needed to get worse, The New York Times is reporting that three people have been killed in demonstrations against tough new austerity measures. The nation halted flights and shut shops as strikes escalated throughout the country in a challenge to Prime Minister George Papandreou’s plans to cut wages and pensions and raise taxes in return for a €110 billion ($143 billion) rescue package. The strikes have reportedly shut hospitals, schools and tourism sights across Athens, including the Acropolis.
Perhaps somewhat ironically, analysts told the Times that the strikes could signal the beginning of protracted social unrest—which could paralyze the economy and help push the country into deeper recession.
According to BusinessWeek, the euro plunged to its weakest level against the dollar in over a year on Wednesday amid growing concern Greece’s fiscal woes will spread to other indebted nations.
The 16-nation currency traded below $1.29 for the first time since March 2009 as Moody’s Investors Service placed Portugal’s Aa2 government bond ratings on review for possible downgrade.