Clashes erupt at Greek anti-austerity protests amid general strike
ATHENS — Greek police clashed with anti-austerity protesters hurling stones and petrol bombs on the day of a general strike that brought much of the near-bankrupt country to a standstill.
In the second major walkout in three weeks on Thursday, almost 40,000 protesters marched in Athens in a bid to show EU leaders meeting in Brussels that new wage and pension cuts will only worsen their plight after five years of recession.
Tensions mounted when a small group of protesters began throwing pieces of marble, bottles and petrol bombs at police barricading part of the square in front of parliament, prompting riot police to fire several rounds of teargas to disperse them.
Tens of thousands of Greeks take to the streets in largest anti-austerity protest in a year
Greek police clashed with hooded rioters hurling petrol bombs as tens of thousands took to the streets of Athens on Wednesday in Greece’s biggest anti-austerity protest in more than a year.
Violence erupted after nearly 70,000 people marched to parliament chanting “We won’t submit to the troika (of lenders)” and “EU, IMF Out!” on the day of a general strike against a new round of cuts demanded by foreign lenders. (Photos: AP Photo; AFP/GettyImages)
Photos of Greece in turmoil: Protesters riot over EU austerity measures
While Greece’s politicians battled it out in parliament on Sunday to decide whether to accept deeply unpopular austerity measures that are required to secure an EU/IMF bailout, in Athens, crowds of protesters fought a much more violent battle for hours against the police over the same thing. (Photos: Reuters)
Greeks fight back against austerity
Greek workers went on strike against austerity measures on Friday, docking ships and halting public transport, hours after eurozone finance ministers said Athens needed to make more cuts to convince them to release a financial bailout.
Before they release more aid, Greece’s financial backers have demanded parliamentary ratification of the new austerity package this weekend, the identification of a further 325 million euros of spending reductions by next Wednesday and a strong commitment from all parties to implement the reforms.
But it may be a demand too far. Many Greeks, already suffering from five consecutive years of recession, are increasingly angry about the measures, which are unlikely to help an economy, where one in five is unemployed, shops close one after another and households are tightening their budget.
The central Athens Syntagma square, in front of parliament, echoed with loudspeaker calls to rally against the measures: “No to layoffs! No to salary cuts! No to pension cuts! Do not bow your heads! Resist!” (Photos: Reuters)