Scuffles break out in Athens during protests over austerity measures

14:18, May 12, 2011      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Scuffles between dozens of youths and anti-riot police broke out in central Athens on Wednesday during a 40,000 strong march to protest the Greek government's harsh austerity measures.

Hooded youths who mingled with the thousands of peaceful protesters tossed rocks and gasoline bombs at police in front of the parliament building. Anti-riot police responded with tear gas to disperse the crowd.

No injuries were reported. But an Associated Press reporter saw at least three demonstrators injured and another five detained by police, while dozens of black-clad anarchists smashed bus stops, set rubbish bins on fire and smashed a shop window.

The clashes came during a 24-hour general strike, the second of the year, that brought most public services to a halt, suspended all train and ferry services, grounded flights for four hours and disrupted public transportation.

Police deployed across the center of Athens because of violence at previous rallies. On May 5, 2010, three clerks died when their bank branch near the parliament was torched by rioters.

Labor unions called Wednesday's strike to protest the harsh austerity measures and structural reforms introduced to tackle the debt crisis that hit Greece in late 2009.

"The only people paying the bill are salary earners, pensions and above all the unemployed," said Yiannis Panagopoulos, head of the country's largest union, the GSEE. "The well-off, who are the main people to blame for the crisis, continue to drink the health of the mugs."

Presently, Greece is shielded from insolvency by a 110 billion euro (158 billion U.S. dollar) package of rescue loans in a 2010-2013 program from its European Union partners and International Monetary Fund.

Source: Xinhua
BRICS Leaders Meeting 2011
Japan in aftershocks
  Weekly review  
May 05   Fight against terrorism should strike at roots
April 29   'Human rights overriding sovereignty' only a mask of hegemony
May 04   Human rights dialogues need mutual understanding
May 03   Highlights of China's sixth national census results
May 07   The week in pictures
May 03   Expats seeking opportunities in China
May 04   Some Chinese colleges face decreasing enrollment, struggle to survive
May 05   French leader: China's peaceful rise puts world at ease
April 29   Ten most valuable cultural relics displayed at Xi'an exposition park
May 03   US kills Bin Laden, ending 10-year manhunt


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Al-Qaeda Chief Osama bin Laden dead
  • BRICS Leaders' Meeting 2011
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • All Chinese women paddlers roll into last 16 at worlds
  • Barcelona draws Levante to claim league title
  • Five stolen frescos from Tang-era queen's tomb brought back home
  • Harbin hit by sandstorm
  • James delivers decisive blow as Heat finish Celtics
  • Lakers coach Phil Jackson retires
Hot Forum Dicussion