Greek Strike Turns Deadly

Greek strikes, started by public sector employees to protest possible tax hikes and wage freezes, have turned deadly. Protesters threw a fire bomb at an Athens bank, killing three people. CNN has the story:

Police sirens and the smell of tear gas filled the streets around Greece’s parliament building Wednesday after protests against government spending cuts turned violent, then deadly. Three people died and at least four others were missing after a fire bomb hit a bank in central Athens, the Greek fire brigade told CNN. The victims, two women and a man, were bank employees, they said.

The protests happened amid a general strike by thousands of public sector workers unhappy with the austerity measures, which largely target them. Private sector workers joined them on the picket lines Wednesday, along with thousands of transport workers — which brought transportation services to a halt.

The European Union announced a €110 billion ($145 billion) aid package for Greece on Sunday. Soon after, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou announced the tough cost-cutting measures to meet European Union and International Monetary Fund conditions for the deal.

Police estimated there were 15,000 workers were on the streets of Athens, but unions said there were many more. Among them were teachers, bank employees and doctors.

See live protest coverage here (via Zero Hedge). Zero Hedge also writes:

America recently allowed passage of policies that would make Greek debt-to-GDP ratios seems like a midget in Liliput compared to the monster our own Treasury is about to spawn. Yet, as always, it isn’t until it is far too late to fix something proactively that the people of any country, be it Greece or the US, wake up from their deep slumber. Greece has now officially woken up. We wonder how long before America does the same.

Or Spain, or Portugal, or the host of other countries facing a similar mess. I’d wager on Americans waking up last or not at all, since we seem to have more sedative capacity than other countries.