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Greece heals wounds after riots during crucial vote on rescue deal

(Xinhua)

08:17, February 14, 2012

ATHENS, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- In the aftermath of riots across central Athens early Monday during a crucial parliamentary vote on an austerity rescue deal, authorities started healing the wounds caused in buildings and the political landscape.

Municipality crews swept tons of shattered glass and broken marbles from the streets, as fire fighters were extinguishing the last flames in dozens of buildings burned down by anarchists. Amongst them was a historical block built in the late 19th century that housed a cinema and stores, at a close distance from the parliament.

According to the latest data by local authorities, up to 93 buildings were damaged. The Athens Chamber of Trade and Commerce estimated that the cost of material damages in over 170 stores from fires and looting run up to dozens of millions of euros.

Greek police announced on Monday that 106 members of anti-riot police were eventually injured in clashes with hooded youth that continued for some six hours and 92 detentions of suspects were made. Local media, citing hospital sources, added some 60 citizens to the injured.

The clashes started outside the parliament on Sunday evening, at the end of a large demonstration by peaceful protesters against the new round of steep austerity measures introduced in exchange for a fresh bailout package by the European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) lenders.

Debt-ridden and recession-hit Greece needs the 130-billion euro (171.43 billion U.S. dollars) funds before March 20 to cover debt repayments of a total 14.5 billion euros (19.12 billion dollars). Otherwise, the country could end up in a chaotic bankruptcy that could rock the eurozone, Greek and European officials, along with analysts, warned.

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