ATHENS, Greece — After Monday’s huge rally against the bailout deal on offer for Greece, Tuesday was the turn of the pro-deal campaign to take its place in Syntagma Square, the focal point of Athens’ political life.
The attendees want a “Yes” vote to the bailout in Greece’s snap July 5 referendum. The government, in contrast, is campaigning for people to vote “No.”
The demonstration was at least as well-attended as Monday’s — I thought there were actually slightly more people, but it’s not easy to tell from the ground. Both filled the square and spilled backwards and along side-streets.
I noticed three major differences between Tuesday’s protest and Monday’s: Tuesday’s was wetter, more middle class, and seemed a little angrier.
Check out the pictures and see what people had to say.
Like Monday's No vote rally, it was a pretty diverse demonstration, with people of all ages in attendance.
This man said 'I don't like the bailout -- I want big cuts in state spending, not even more taxes. But accepting the deal is far better than the alternative.'
Sadly the weather didn't hold up for the Yes campaign, after the sunny evening for the No bloc the previous day.
I'm increasingly convinced that if only one economic sector in Greece is performing, it's the protest flag sales sector.
This was the leaflet being handed out as I arrived at the protest -- it's titled 'YES to the Euro,' and the first few lines say 'Yes to freedom, Yes to dignity, Yes to development.'
The other side says 'NO to the euro,' saying that a no vote will mean uncertainty, humiliation, schism, isolation and the drachma.
Some protesters thought Tsipras should resign if Greece voted Yes. One said 'we'll be demanding it.'
Others didn't seem to care as much: 'We need to stay in Europe, that's the priority. What happens with Syriza and Tsipras is for another time.'
It certainly looked like there was a bit of a class divide -- the people protesting for a Yes vote seemed visibly wealthier than those campaigning for No.
There were both more Greek flags and more EU flags on Tuesday, replacing Monday's banners from anti-austerity factions.
The banner said 'a leader is a person who can prevent a disaster which would not have occurred had he not been in power.'
The police presence initially seemed light, but after a while they resumed their usual places guarding the steps leading to Greece's parliament.
However, police officers seemed to be mingling with the crowd, which I didn't see much of on Monday night.
Another protester said he expected Tsipras to stand down if Yes won the referendum, and that he thought that was likely to happen.
The looming clouds and eventual rain looked like they might drive campaigners away, but at least 20,000 turned out, according to AFP.
Once again, I didn't see any violence at all, but police seem to be prepared for anything at the moment.
I thought the atmosphere was a little angrier than yesterday's No rally -- of course, that's more likely for the side actually campaigning against the government.
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