herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Caroline Crawford

protest

With the future of Greece resting in the hands of European leaders, ordinary citizens once more took to the streets of Athens hoping to make their voices heard in Brussels.

But unlike the crowds who had flocked to Syntagma Square in their tens of thousands over the past fortnight, yesterday's rally saw crowds of just hundreds attend.

The small outcome left some dejected, but they vowed they would continue their fight.

"People are tired and they want it all to stop, but this is not the answer. The 'No' vote was not a 'Yes' to Europe, but it is being treated that way," said Aleana (35), who joined the crowd with her parents.

Anger

Yet for those who did attend the rally their anger was palpable and they were all united behind a rallying cry for full autonomy.

"We need to leave the euro and the European Union. We have realised we don't have any future there," said teacher Tania Vezou (34).

Others agreed, insisting that Greece would be better off alone. "If we stay in the euro they will keep on destroying our lives. There is no chance of getting out of this nightmare," said 24-year-old Yanni.

For a lot of 'Oxi' supporters the new austerity program totalling €13bn, including tax hikes, pension cuts and raising the retirement age, flew in the face of the referendum vote. Their anger was clearly directed at Syriza.

Describing the European leaders as "blackmailers and b******s", teacher Dimitris Vourakis (57) added: "We are seeing the government of the left implementing the policies of the right. If this goes ahead it will be the political end for Tsirpas."

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