Update: Here's a screen grab from the outside of the building at 7pm the night before last.
I had hoped to get a good image of the number of people outside of this building but nothing and it's not being reported anywhere on the web other than through a livestream.
So What's Happening Here?
As you may or may no know the Greek economy has been in turmoil for a while now. As I last reported the wealthy were basically getting away with murder economically speaking. Little did I know just how bad things really are over there. You may have heard about the austerity package that regular folks were meant to swallow but but just how bad was never really reported until now.
From a news report by workers world:
Taxation on the Greek population is to increase by a whopping 29.1%, whereas business and company taxation is to decrease by a further 22% relative to the 2011 budget. Government spending on public sector wages, pensions, welfare, and insurance contributions on pension funds, is to decrease by 5.3% relative to the 2011 budget.
Direct taxes are set to raise Є24.2 billion, up by 17.4% relative to the 2011 budget. Taxes on pensioners, workers, small shopkeepers, peasants will be up by 29.1%; taxes on companies, down by 22%. The new regressive property tax is set to raise Є3.6 billion.
VAT levels will rise. Fuel prices will rise. Household tax reliefs will be abolished or cut. Multiple levels of emergency taxation will be introduced.
On the spending side, Є19.4 billion are allocated to pensions, down by 3.3% in relation to the 2011 budget). The public sector wage bill is expected to go down drastically; for example, the monthly wage of a young school teacher is expected to go down from Є1240 to Є850 by the end of 2012.
Overall public spending on pensions, education, health, and transport is to be reduced from Є18.8billion in the 2011 budget) to Є17.1billion.
But arms spending will increase by a whopping 66.7% in relation to the 2011 budget, from Є600 million to Є1 billion.
So how was the government going to collect these draconian taxes? By adding them to electric bills. You don't pay the bill and they cut off your electricity. The peoples' response was forceful. They took over the building you see above and shut down the electronic equipment that tracks billing. They are at present occupying the building refusing to leave. This morning some 1500 protesters stood outside the building preventing police from entering.
In communicating with the livestream media there I was able to get a bit more information about their police. It seems that police over there are not like here in the U.S. Their police are not part of the 99% and are not under the same oppressive taxes that their countrymen endure. They weren't hit by this 29.1% tax. And it was my impression that there is indeed a great deal of corruption in their police force there.
Whether they can persevere for any length of time before the riot police storm the building is anyones' guess. But one thing is for certain this in not going to end any time soon. A general strike is being called by the electrical union that will shut down the city and possibly the entire country as was done once before.
I'll try to get a screen shot later showing the crowd connections permitting.