While Greek members of the Parliament gathered to vote for the unpopular property tax, hundreds have gathered outside to protest the voting and the new austerity package that comes as a storm over their heads. “Indignant” Greeks and members of the civic “I Don’t Pay” movement have urged citizens to join the protest. Strong riot police forces have took place around the Parliament to hinder protesters coming close.
18: 30 (6.30 pm) The protests started with a group of special guards from the Greek Police (ELAS) who raised banners saying: “We are illegal immigrants in our own country”. Protesting police officers are surrounded by … working riot policemen!
Video: protesting police special guards
19:17 The voting in parliament will start soon. Roll call vote. It will be decided upon the majority of the present deputies and not the absolute majority (151 YES votes in a 300-seat parliament.
The meeting between Greek PM George Papandreou and German chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to start at 9 pm Greek time.
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There is delay in the voting. Rumors claim that 3 PASOK deputies intend to vote against the property tax bill.
19:40 Major Streets are closed to traffic in downtown Athens
19:42 Debate in the Parliament started!
Citizens of all ages and social classes flock outside the Parliament. With trillers, banners and flags.
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said Hotels are exempted form the property tax. He dismissed claims that property owners who lease to state institutions won’t pay the tax … because the state is exempted from it.
Tension Outside the Parliament as protesters tried to break the riot police chain at Vass Sofias Str. Protesters booed riot police. A couple of water bottles were hurled against them.
Riot police tried to protest the protesting policemen…
Unconfirmed reports claim a policeman was slightly injured by a hurled stone.
19: 58 Voting started at the Parliament
20:01 PM Papandreou currently in Berlin voted YES per ‘letter vote’.
VIDEO: Syntagma Sq protesters – no good media coverage of the protests
20:18 Protesters outside Parliament estmated 4,000-5,000 people.
Protesting policemen withdraw, more riot police squads are being deployed.
20:09 Voting continue
20:18 Protesters outside the Parliament are estimated 4,000-5,000 people.
Protesting policemen withdrew, more riot police squads are bein deployed.
20:20 Voting concluded – Now votes are counted
Silence in Parliament as votes are being counted – Silence in our pockets too as there is no euro left …
The Property Tax will come via the electricity bills. Those who will not pay the tax will have the electricity cut!!! Goosebumps! Shivering Blackmail! The property tax will cost several hundreds or thousand euros to property owners. For the rest of their lives in deep recession!
20:35 Voted 297 deputies
155 voted YES (154 from PASOK, 1 from ex conservatives)
142 voted NO
There are some reports of police to have fired tear gas against protesters.
Video: earlier Riot Police protecting protesting police from protesting civilians…
20:46 All Quite outside the Parliament – Keeping an eye on possible ‘incidents’ when deputies will leave the building.
I may have a luxury beer – the worst Dutch is sold as the most expensive in Greece: €1,40 in super-market. HA! I ‘ll drink it drop by drop…
Private Sector union forecast 1,200,000 jobless in 2012 and unemployment to reach 26%. Officially is at 16.5%, unofficially at 22-23%.
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Syntagma Sq a couple of minutes ago @mkhalili
21:19 Papandreou – Merkel join press conference concluded. Merkel said, she wants a strong Greece within the eurozone [preferably without …Greeks!]. She also said that Greeks pay a high price for the changes in their country [Greeks pay a lot but see no change]. The two leaders left for a join dinner…
Watch for the total black-out in Athens public transport tomorrow! No public transport, no Taxis.
21:22 All quite outside the Parliament!
21:50 Riot Police fired tear gas and beat protesters outside the parliament.
There are reports that police made etxensive use of force, practically for no reason.
Protesters report of a man who collapsed, of tear gas round Syntagma Sq and deployment of more riot squads.
Protesters chant “Thieves! Thieves” – Police detains protester – Riot Dog Loukanikos protests via Barking
There are reports of extensive use of tear gas as protetsres and riot police play cat & mouse… better say: mouse & cat
Half an hour ago protesters thought they saw an MP outside the Pallas Theater and gathered around the man. Strong police forces rushed there, the actors interrupted the play.
There is stone-tear gas ‘war’ going on …
It seems the night will be long in downtown Athens as clashes continue between protesters and riot police.
some of the source used Newsit.gr, newsbeast.gr, zougla.gr
22:34 Riot police has “cleared” the area outside the parliament and the Syntagma sq from protesters and has pushed them towards Ermou str. – Police opened major roads of downtown Athen to traffic.
Thank you for reading “Keep Talking, Greece”! Have a great night!