ATHENS, Greece—The dark clouds over Athens on May 5 were a symbol of the situation in Greece. Tear gas and the smell of fires filled the air, accompanied by the sounds of yelling and shouts of disapproval. Angry faces filled the crowds of the citizens who took to the streets, and among youth eager to destroy banks and buildings.
Some held bombs, mace, and clubs—tools that would be used to lay waste to the surrounding city without control. Few exceptions were made in what they would burn or destroy next.
Despite the chaos, there was a degree of organization in the riots. Many came prepared with gas masks, in preparation for run-ins with riot police.
Some of the attacks were more targeted. The Ministry of Economy building was burned to the ground—just as will the Greek economy if the riots continue. One of the main sources of income in Greece comes through tourism, and tourists have been come fewer and fewer due to the continuous strikes and all-around disorder.
Higher taxes and lower salaries were announced on May 2 in an attempt to pull Greece out of recession. Organized demonstrations followed soon after. Strikes and protests against new government tax laws have been common over the last two months.