Saturday 10 December 2016

Rioters attack Greek police during 24-hour anti-austerity strike

Elena Becateros in Athens

Published 13/11/2015 | 02:30

A riot policeman tries to avoid a petrol bomb thrown by protesters during a rally in Athens
A riot policeman tries to avoid a petrol bomb thrown by protesters during a rally in Athens

Clashes broke out between riot police and youths in central Athens during the first general strike since Greece's left-led government initially came to power in January.

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Youths broke away from a protest march attended by thousands as it passed outside parliament and threw Molotov cocktails at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

Nearly 25,000 people had been participating in three separate demonstrations in central Athens, according to police figures, protesting against a new round of bailout-related tax hikes and spending cuts.

The 24-hour general strike has caused widespread disruption across Greece, with numerous public services shutting down.

Public transport was severely disrupted. The Athens metro and suburban railway shut down while bus and trolley routes were reduced and ferries remained tied up in port, severing connections between islands and the mainland.

A march in Athens by a Communist-backed union gathered around 15,000 people, while 4,000 or so participated in a labour union demonstration and another 5,000 joined in a protest organised by anti-establishment groups.

The clashes prompted protesters to scatter, but calm soon returned after a few running scuffles through central avenues in the capital.

Another 10,000 marched through the country's second largest city of Thessaloniki.

Irish Independent

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