Saturday, June 04, 2011

A very different country

Drowning in debt, we are told, Greece "won" yesterday the pledge of a new bailout on top of a July cashflow fix, but only after surrendering some of its financial autonomy. "There is an agreement", prime minister George Papandreou said as he emerging from talks in Luxembourg with Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the eurozone finance ministers.

Mr Papandreou said despite "big sacrifices by the Greek people, still much has to be done". Papandreou declared that his country would continue the hard work and fully meet its obligations with the aim to boost growth and raise employment. "Our aim is [for] Greece to become a very different country", he concluded.

Even as he spoke, demonstrators were breaking into the finance ministry in Athens to hang a huge banner (pictured), calling for a general strike. Papandreou will get his "very different country", but not in quite the way he is anticipating.