Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Greek Police Fire Tear Gas on Protesters

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Greek police fired tear gas at demonstrators in central Athens at the start of a 48-hour strike to protest austerity measures demanded by international lenders as the price for more financial aid.

As Greece teeters on the edge of bankruptcy, parliament is due to vote this week on a package of spending cuts, tax increases and privatisations agreed as part of a massive bail-out aimed at averting the euro zone's first default.

Following weeks of protests and rolling strikes, ADEDY, the public sector union representing half a million civil servants, and GSEE, which represents 2 million private sector workers, are stepping up pressure on deputies before the votes.

As thousands rallied in Syntagma square near the parliament, hundreds of hooded youths threw stones and bottles at police who responded with tear gas as the initially peaceful mood turned violent. A street umbrella was set fire outside a record-and-book store sending black smoke spiralling into the air above Syntagma Square near the parliament.

The protesters had marched through the capital chanting slogans, banging drums and carrying banners attacking the bail-out deal which many Greeks feel imposes harsh and unjust penalties on ordinary pensioners and workers while sparing the wealthy.

Transport and public services were hit, schools were shut and many shops and businesses were closed, while the streets of central Athens were virtually deserted. » | Tuesday, June 28, 2011

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