Midtowng over at The Economic Populist has a short and useful post on why Athens may default on its debts: "Five Minutes to Midnight" in Athens. Greece is in recession, and if it balances its budget, it will likely cause it to drop into a depression. Since it is part of the Euro, it cannot devalue its currency as a way of dealing with its crisis.
Greece has been dealing with civil unrest that started over a year ago and led to the electoral defeat of the previous conservative government. Costas Panayotakis has one take on it and sums up the motivations of the many youthful protesters thus:
the rage of the protestors is also a feeling that today's Greek youth
will be the first generation not to live better than their parents.
Fueling this feeling are high unemployment rates, low salaries that do
not keep up with the rising cost of living, high levels of poverty (one
out of five Greeks is poor), growing household indebtedness, and
"flexible" labor relations that consign many young people to insecure,
temporary positions. This situation is partly the result of the
commitment of conservatives and Socialists alike to the European Union
and its insistence that inflation and deficits be kept low, even at the
cost of chronically high unemployment rates."
Chris Spannos posted some pictures and background on some of the more recent demonstrations, such as those by students, pensioners and public workers.