From: Inside Story

Greece: Bailouts, austerity and protests

Can the Greek government convince a protesting public to accept austerity measures?

The votes are in and Greece’s politicians have chosen in favour of an austerity plan paving the way for a second bailout.

The unpopular five-year package was backed by 155 members of Greece’s 300 seat parliament – 138 voted against, while five abstained. Without the $40bn package, Greece would have defaulted on its debt by mid-July.

While politicians cast their ballots in parliament, just outside there were fierce clashes as protestors expressed their objection to the autserity measures.

The Greek parliament will vote again on Thursday on the actual implementation of the plan. But George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, has made it clear that even with a bailout, there are challenges ahead. So, how will the government address a population that does not want to accept the sweeping austerity measures? 

Inside Story, with presenter Divya Gopalan discusses with guests: Yanis Varoufakis, a professor of economics at the Univeristy of Athens; Karen Young, a professor of political science at the American University in Sharjah; and Alexi Pavlou, a Greek national and credit risk manager for a regional bank in the Gulf. 

This episode of Inside Story aired from June 29, 2011.