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Economic crisis in Greece makes mark here at home

By HILARY LANE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - In response to austerity measures passed by the Greek government, 45 buildings were burned and 120 people were injured Sunday night and Monday.

The parliament vote includes a 1/5 decrease in the minimum wage and cuts to 150,000 government jobs by 2015.

The measures were enacted as a requirement to receiving a $171 billion bail-out plan and avoid default.

After years of spending beyond its means, Greece now owes 133 percent of its $305 billion dollar GDP.

"It is just the basics of economics, you can only spend what you have," says Mark Savery, Chief Investment Officer at M. Griffith Investments in Utica. "You can not go into debt and when you go into debt, it causes problems."

Greece's economy is shrinking at a rate of 8.3%, about as fast as the U.S. economy was shrinking during the worst of the Great Depression. The frustration and uncertainty over the economy is angering Greece's citizens. Riots in Athens began on Saturday and continued through Monday.

"It's quite different than in the U.S.," says Savery. "We don't see violence to that extent here. It is just a different society over there. Anxiety is the leading cause of that."

Can the violence and economic issues affecting Greece impact the markets locally?

"Going forward, that volatility and fear should subside and should allow U.S. investors to continue their upper trend," says Savery.

On Friday with the uncertainty in Greece, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its biggest one-day drop in 2012.

On Monday, the Dow rose 70 points in response to the austerity measures passed by Greece's government over the weekend.

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