Daily VideoMay 7, 2010
Greek Riots Continue as Markets Plunge
Riots continue in Greece in response to the country’s massive debt crisis, which is also spreading uncertainty and fear to world financial markets.
Greece, which is in danger of going bankrupt, has asked Germany and France for loans to pay its bills. All three countries are in the Eurozone, which is a collection of countries that use a common currency, the euro (like the U.S. dollar).
Europe eventually extended loans to Greece but required the Greeks to rein in spending and increase taxes to address their country’s financial problems.
Greek citizens took to the streets to protest those tax hikes and spending cuts, throwing stones at police who retaliated with tear gas. Meanwhile, on Wall Street, the U.S. financial markets took a nosedive in reaction to Greece’s uncertain future The stock market had one of its most dramatic days ever, falling 1,000 points before regaining a bit of its losses.
“The measures aren’t fair for workers, because they didn’t cause the crisis, and they want money from the loan to pay the banks.” – Greek woman
“At this moment, as the country is at this difficult position, at this moment that the foreign parliaments are voting, no matter which political party they are coming from, for the loan of our country, the national interest ordains the broad consensus in the Greek Parliament.” – George Pampandreou, Greek prime minister
“We must protest and continue the struggle until we take back what they are trying to take away from us.” – Greek man
Warm Up Questions
1. What is the European Union? Name as many countries as you can that are a part of it.
2. How do countries make and spend money?
3. What does it mean to be in debt? When an entire country is in debt, to whom does it actually we money?
1. Why would investors in the U.S. stock market be concerned with financial troubles in Greece and the European Union?
2. According to the video, why are Greek citizens so angry about the fact that other EU countries are bailing them out? How will Greeks’ everyday lives be affected?
3. Given this debt crisis and the repercussions it has had, do you think the concept of the European Union is a good one? What are the positive and negative aspects of having a union of countries like the EU?
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