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ATHENS — The instability rocking Greece this week is the latest manifestation of a troubling new phase in the global financial crisis: political turmoil is sweeping through Europe, toppling governments and threatening to undermine efforts to rescue the financial system and, ultimately, the euro zone itself.
Across Europe, people are complaining that they are unfairly paying the price for the mistakes of their governments while they are growing increasingly resentful of the international banks and the preferential treatment they seem to receive. And they are getting louder.
In a vicious cycle, the rising political turmoil is sowing unrest in global financial markets, raising the interest rates paid by heavily indebted nations in Europe to ever higher levels and threatening their solvency.
“They took everything, and we have to pay,” said Katerina
Where is this going to lead? Why are we making these cuts? Why do I have to accept that I have less income? What’s the larger purpose of this?
It’s hard enough to get the electorate to support austerity at the best of times,” said Simon Tilford, the chief economist of the Center for European Reform in London. “They promised endless austerity with no prospects of a return to growth, and there will be mounting opposition to this.
The E.U. and I.M.F. are insisting on a course of action that has already failed,” Mr. Tilford said.
Could we and should we trust the people?” asked Konstantinos Poulis, a playwright and actor who attended Wednesday’s demonstration. “Or should it be someone who knows better? Even if Plato were governing the country, and not Papandreou, the problem would be the same.