- Title: GREECE: Protesters clash with police in Athens over government austerity measures
- Date: 16th June 2011
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (JUNE 15, 2011) (REUTERS) RIOT POLICE OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT, PETROL BOMBS LAND AMONGST THEM PROTESTERS PUSHING POLICE BARRICADE AND SHOUTING MORE OF PROTESTERS TRYING TO KNOCK DOWN THE BARRICADE RIOT POLICE FORMING A WALL WITH SHIELDS BEHIND BARRICADE VARIOUS OF SHOUTING AND KICKING THE BARRICADE RIOT POLICE OFFICER PROTESTERS CLIMBING ON WALLS, RIOT POLICE FIRING TEAR GAS AT CROWD PROTESTERS THROWING STONES AT POLICE POLICE OFFICER FIRES TEAR GAS INTO PROTESTERS CLOUDS OF TEAR GAS IN THE AIR AROUND PROTEST
- Embargoed: 1st July 2011 13:00
- Location: Greece, Greece
- Country: Greece
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Economy,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVADZ9U2IB1XIN1AR0RYC51XMA39
- Story Text: Stone-throwing Greeks clashed with police and tens of thousands of protesters marched on parliament on Wednesday (June 15) to oppose government efforts to pass new austerity measures for the debt-stricken euro zone state.
Unions representing half the five-million-strong workforce also launched a nationwide strike, shutting ports, schools and other basic services in the Mediterranean state.
Prime Minister George Papandreou must push through a new five-year campaign of tax hikes, spending cuts and sell-offs of state property to continue receiving aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund and avoid default.
He not only faces public protests and resistance from a conservative opposition that has surpassed his Socialist party in opinion polls, but a few backbenchers in his own parliamentary grouping are also threatening to reject the plan.
Thousands of activists and unionists converged on the central Syntagma square on the parliament's front steps to try to stop lawmakers from entering to debate the bill they hope to pass by the end of the month.
About 1,500 police closed a large part of the city centre and erected two-metre metal barricades in front of the assembly, creating a corridor to hold back protesters as lawmakers drove up to the building in official limousines.
Riot police fired several rounds of tear gas at dozens of masked youths who pelted them with rocks and a few petrol bombs. Several activists also hurled oranges at Papandreou's car as he drove past, a police official said.
Several groups in the protest fought among themselves. Police said one person was injured and they detained 40 people.
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