Greeks take on the Banks

SUBHEAD: Three die in Athens. European leaders warn of contagion of Greek economic woes. Image above: Greek security police guard burned-out bank outlet in Athens. From ( By Renee Maltezou & Dave Graham on 5 May 2010 for Reuters - ( European leaders warned on Wednesday that the euro zone debt crisis could spread like a bushfire beyond Greece, and investors sold stocks and the euro as Greek anti-austerity unrest claimed its first lives. Video above: In Athens 100,000 Greeks fight against harsh cuts. From ( German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe's fate was at stake and France declared the euro was under speculative attack but said it would fail, while the Greek government vowed not to retreat a single step despite violence on the streets of Athens. Image above: Crowd marches on security police in face to face challenge. From ( Three people, including a pregnant woman, choked to death when rioters set an Athens bank ablaze during a protest against wage and pension cuts that were the price of the 110 billion euro ($146.5 billion) EU/IMF bailout agreed on Sunday. A general strike shut down Greek airports, tourist sites and public services and about 50,000 demonstrators marched against the planned public spending cuts and tax rises, demanding that tax cheats and corrupt politicians be put on trial. Video above: Greece Austerity Protests. From ( ) Protesters threw stones and bottles at police who responded with tear gas in the biggest demonstration since Prime Minister George Papandreou took office last October. The Greek Parliament is due to vote on the bailout by Friday. Greek civil servants will strike again next week to protest against austerity, public sector unions said. Image above: Protectors clash directly with Greek security police in streets of Athens. From (
European Union Headed for Collapse? By Jeff Cox on 5 May 2010 for CNBC - ( The current European debt crisis likely will not end until the euro collapses as a currency and takes the entire European Union with it, said Dennis Gartman, hedge fund manager and author of "The Gartman Letter." "I think the whole thing will go down to defeat, the whole thing will eventually unravel," Gartman said in an interview with Gartman said he doesn't have a specific timetable for how long it will take for the collapse of the 17-year-old EU, but said, "it doesn't look good." The debt problems continued to escalate Wednesday as Greek citizens rioted in the streets over proposed austerity measures that would be required for any rescue plan to gain approval. At the same time, Moody's warned that it might downgrade the debt for Portugal, accelerating worries that Greece's unremitting debt worries could spread across the continent. Gartman holds the following long positions: 15 percent gold; 10 percent silver, and 15 percent each to Canadian and Australian dollars; he is short 15 percent each in euros, pounds and yen. • Greek Crisis Engulfs Euro Zone • Crisis Sends VIX Soaring • Contagion Fears Spread • Rating Agencies Useless: Gross • Perfect Storm Brewing in Europe? • Scenes From Greek Protests • Portugal Faces Debt Downgrade The chaos was enough for Gartman to advise US investors to get out of the stock market. "It means confusion, it means a stronger dollar, it probably means weak commodity prices," Gartman said. "I think they should be out. People should be on the sidelines and out." A correction of as much as 15 percent in the US market "would be normal," he said. "There's always a chance we could get worse than that." In his daily letter to investors, Gartman said there is little chance of a peaceful, successful resolution of Greek's troubles. "The modern Greek culture is so dependent upon government largesse, and is so used to the fact that Greek fiscal irresponsibility will be bailed out by the taxes paid by responsible German workers and businessmen, that we cannot see this being resolved short of Greece being summarily tossed out of the EMU, or removing itself voluntarily," he wrote... .

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