German chancellor Angela Merkel spent about six hours in Greece earlier
today -- and then flew home. Merkel's not exactly a popular figure in
that country since she's pushed for painful economic reforms in the
country mired in deficit. She assured the Greek people today that those
reforms will pay off. But Merkel's "charm offensive" didn't assuage tens
of thousands of Greeks who responded to her visit today with massive
street protests across the city.
John Psaropoulos is a blogger at TheNewAthenian.com.
Of the protests, he says many Greeks were in the streets because they
are genuinely frustrated with the rounds of austerity measures that have
chipped away at the middle class in that country. But others were
organized along ideological lines -- namely the anti-banker, anti-Wall
Street types we saw in the United States.
But for some Greeks, especially the youth, frustration has given way
to apathy, in a market where unemployment for young people is at 54
"They tend to sit on stoops in front of houses," says Psaropoulos.
"They clearly have nothing to do all day and they sit there well into
the night drinking sodas and beers. And you know, there's a reason it's
called a depression. People are depressed."
But, says Psaropoulos, many Greeks are still finding ways to
socialize with friends and "making merry" to forget about their economic