When over half of the people of a nation derive their welfare from the state -- civil servants, pensioners, freeloaders -- and that safety net is removed or is less lucrative, tempers flare.
We see this all over the world, people working for 30 years (sometime less) for the government, retire at 50 and get gobs of money and benefits for the rest of their lives. These people, almost everyone of of them, feel they are entitled to these funds. On the other side, Greece is one of the massively corrupt nations in Europe.
It was easy to anticipate Greeks riots. The austerity program mandated by the IMF and EU in exchange for the $143 billion bailout loan will be painful for most Greeks.
If I were the IMF and EU, I would seriously rethink that loan. Actually, it is doubtful that the Greek parliament will approve it.
Greece is the canary in the mine for all of Europe. It is not too big or important to fail, and fail it just might do so ... completely.