In­dig­nants set to block Par­lia­ment

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Thou­sands of pro­test­ers from a grass­roots move­ment dubbed the “In­dig­nants” – af­ter a Span­ish move­ment of the same name – have threat­ened to block MPs from en­ter­ing Par­lia­ment early this morn­ing in a bid to stop a planned re­view of the gov­ern­ment’s midterm fis­cal pro­gram which fore­sees a raft of new tax hikes and pub­lic sec­tor spend­ing cuts.

The pro­test­ers have said that they will form a hu­man chain around the broader area of Par­lia­ment, cit­ing three key gather­ing points for early-bird pro­test­ers: Par­lia­ment, Evan­ge­lis­mos metro sta­tion and the Pana­thenaic Sta­dium. The aim of the or­ga­niz­ers, who to­day en­ter the 22nd day in a row of protests that have seen reg­u­lar crowds in Syn­tagma Square, is to stop MPs get­ting close to Par­lia­ment. Later in the day, at 6 p.m., pro­test­ers are to meet in the north- ern sub­urb of Ki­fis­sia and march to the home of Prime Min­is­ter Ge­orge Pa­pan­dreou in nearby Kas­tri.

Some 3,500 po­lice of­fi­cers will be on duty in and around Athens to­day in a bid to stop protests from turn­ing vi­o­lent. In three weeks of In­dig­nant ral­lies, there have been no re­ports of vi­o­lent in­ci­dents – a first for Greek demon­stra­tions, which are of­ten marred by out­breaks of vi­o­lence. The hard core of the In­dig­nants – a few dozen of whom have set up tents in Syn­tagma Square and have been or­ga­niz­ing pub­lic de­bates – have preached against vi­o­lence.

Ac­cord­ing to a poll con­ducted by Pub­lic Is­sue for Skai, 81 per­cent of Greeks be­lieve the In­dig­nant protests will con­tinue and 52 per­cent think they will have an im­pact. Ac­cord­ing to the poll, 31 per­cent said they would take part in up­com­ing ral­lies and 39 per­cent said they would prob­a­bly not.

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