At least 10 buildings went up in flames in mass protests as Greek lawmakers approved, 199 for and 74 against, for an EU/IMF bailout on Monday. As riots engulfed central Athens, violence spread across the country. Without the IMF release of $170 billion, Greece would default on its debt next month and likely leave the the eurozone, Fox News reported.
On Friday, Standard & Poor lowered its ratings on 34 Italian banks. The banking-sector downgrades came after S&P downgraded its credit rating on Italy’s government debt by two notches last month.
Since late 2009, fears of a sovereign debt crisis developed among investors concerning rising government debt levels across the globe together with a wave of downgrading of government debt of certain European states. Concerns intensified early 2010 and thereafter making it difficult or impossible for Greece, Ireland and Portugal to re-finance their debts.