Tens of thousands of people rioting in the streets over the tough new austerity plan which would mean more job cuts, wage cuts and pension reductions. Thousands of miles away from the protests, Greek nationals gather at a local coffee shop to talk about the problems in their home country.
It's a problem Constatine Vamianakis says started years ago. “Instead of creating jobs so they can make money, you borrow money, if you borrow money you have to pay it back one day,” said Vamianakis.
The time has come and Greece has no money and no collateral, so they're forced once again to secure 130 billion Euros in new rescue loans. Without it a potential catastrophic default next month that would have forced Greece out of Europe’s euro currency union.
Apostolos Votsis moved the U.S. in 1971. He still has friends and family in Greece whom he worries about. They’ve had their pay cut and their pensions slashed by more than 20%. Still Votsis says he understands why the Greek government made the difficult decision. "They agree to pass although they didn't want to pass, but they had to otherwise tomorrow morning no money to pay anybody,” said Votsis.
Still the agreement does nothing for the million of Greeks already out of work and the families struggling under the new tax laws. “There was no other way, we had to do it,” said Vamianakis. “Otherwise country would go in bankruptcy."
The bailout deal has not yet been finalized. Euro-Zone finance ministers will meet Wednesday to decide whether to approve the euro130 billion deal. If approved the deal will be combined with a massive bond swap to write off half the country’s privately held dept, reducing Greece’s debt load by almost euro100 billion.