Wednesday 18 October 2017

Debt crisis: More riots as Greek party wobbles on deal

A protester clashes with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens. Photo: Getty Images
A protester clashes with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens. Photo: Getty Images
A protester clashes with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens. Photo: Getty Images
A protester is arrested by police in Athens. Photo: Getty Images

VIOLENT clashes erupted between Greek protesters and police outside Athens parliament today.

Clashes have intensified between police and demonstrators in the central Athens Syntagma square, as thousands of striking workers marched on the parliament to protest against European Union and International Monetary Fund-prescribed austerity measures.



Demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails and rocks, while riot police lines charged, firing teargas and beating protesters back with batons.



Many Greeks, already suffering from five consecutive years of recession, are increasingly angry about the new measures, which are unlikely to ease an economy, where one in five is unemployed, shops close one after another and households are tightening their budget.



Parliament will vote on the new bailout agreement on Sunday or Monday, and it is expected to pass, although many politicians have expressed their opposition to the plan in the last days.

But the leader of one of Greece's coalition parties has said that he cannot support the €130 billion EU-IMF bailout agreement.



The decision by the far-right LAOS chief, George Karatzaferis, raises questions about the stability of the government of national unity.



If LAOS was to leave the government, the socialist PASOK and centre-right New Democracy parties would still have an overwhelming majority in parliament.



"I explained to the other political leaders that I cannot vote for this loan agreement," Mr Karatzaferis told a news conference.







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