Athens: Arsonists attacked offices of
Greece's ruling Socialist party in Athens on Friday as the country
suffered a new credit blow ahead of a parliament debate on how
to confront its massive debt.
Credit rating agency Standard and Poor's downgraded two
Greek banks and put two others on negative watch.
International ratings agencies have delivered a series of
heavy blows to Greece's standing in recent weeks.
Prime Minister George Papandreou has ordered major
austerity measures to cut Greece's USD 436 billion debt that
has roiled markets and pushed down the euro currency which
Greece shares as a member of the eurozone.
The attacks on the six Socialist party offices in Athens
came hours after a day of protests by communist-led unions
against the austerity measures.
Minor fire damage was caused by police gas canisters and
small incendiary bombs at offices in the Dafni, Melissia and
Palio Faliro districts. All the attacks appeared to be
Markets were jolted meanwhile by a new credit downgrade.
Standard and Poor's cut Eurobank and Alpha Bank to BBB
from BBB-plus and had placed National Bank of Greece, the
country's biggest private institution, and Bank of Piraeus,
its fifth biggest, on negative watch.
First Published: Saturday, December 19, 2009, 00:40