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Clashes break out in northern Greek city

(Xinhua)

13:31, September 11, 2011

THESSALONIKI, Greece, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Greek protesters clashed with anti-riot police during an anti-austerity massive rally at the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki Saturday evening, shortly before Prime Minister George Papandreou delivers a speech on economic policy.

The area around the Vellidion conference hall turned into chaos for a while with hooded youth and some unionists hurling stones against policemen who fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

No injuries have been reported so far, but earlier on Saturday afternoon police detained up to 94 persons and arrested one for possession of fireworks for precautionary measures.

About 10,000 police patrolled Thessaloniki on Saturday, as tens of thousand of protesters marched Saturday evening against harsh austerity and structural reforms introduced since 2010 to address an alarming debt crisis that brought Greece to the brink of default.

Police have erected metal barricades to keep order, as protesters took part in demonstrations organized by various groups, ranging from the two umbrella labor unions of private sector employees and civil servants, opposition parties and taxi drivers to football fans.

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