Mark Weisbrot, Center for Economic and Policy Research. Don’t ride the bus in Greece. A 2-day strike has shut down the nation’s public transportation system and riot police are now clashing with protestors in the streets of Athens today as the Greek Parliament is set to consider a $40 billion austerity package on Wednesday that targets working people with spending cuts and tax hikes. Passing these austerity measures is the last hurdle for Greece before they receive a bailout from the IMF and European Union. Previous spending cuts by the Greek government have already pushed unemployment in that nation to above 16% – and the public isn’t taking too kindly to even more austerity. Doctors – ambulnce drivers – public transit workers – and air traffic controllers – among others – have launched a 48-hour strike in protest of the austerity package being shoved down their throats by banksters at the IMF. But is austerity really the right way to in Greece? Leaders in Europe are worried that a Greek default could unleash a financial crisis across the entire continent – but is running that nation into the ground with forced austerity measures the best way to avoid fiscal calamity? And who has the upper an this negotiation anyway – the Greek Government – the leaders of the IMF and European Union – or thousands of Greeks in the streets of Athens?