Greek police fire teargas at protesters in Athens

February 12, 2012 17:53

ATHENS - Greek police fired teargas at protesters hurling stones and petrol bombs outside parliament in Athens on Sunday, as lawmakers inside debated deeply unpopular austerity measures to secure an EU/IMF bailout.

Riot police firing stun grenades drove back protesters on the main Syndagma square in front of the assembly.

The crowd of tens of thousands was the biggest in months of demonstrations against the spending cuts. Most of the demonstrators began to disperse but small groups continued to clash with police near the parliament building, as teargas wafted over the square.

Lawmakers inside were debating a bill setting out 3.3 billion euros ($4.35 billion) in wage, pension and job cuts as the price of a 130-billion-euro rescue package from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, Greece's second since 2010.

The protesters say ordinary Greeks have swallowed enough spending cuts and tax hikes in an effort to ease the debt burden.

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