Chaos in Athens following austerity vote

Riot police and protesters continue to clash in Athens following parliament's approval of a tough, new austerity package.

June 30, 2011 09:19
1 minute read.
Riots in Athens

Greek riots 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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As demonstrators clapped rhythmically to traditional Greek music playing from loudspeakers on Wednesday on Athens's central Syntagma Square, other protesters hurled molotov cocktails at riot police teams moving through the city center.

Officers fired several rounds of tear gas in their attempt to flush out rioters, who continued to smash marble building facades and balustrades and throw chunks of stone. Police removed makeshift barricades that demonstrators had placed on the city's most central thoroughfares.

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By afternoon more than 30 protesters had been detained - some with particular force - and three formally arrested, while 18 protesters and 19 police officers were wounded.

Officers also took to the streets on motorcycles, passing through the trouble zones while demonstrators - among them women and individuals of varying ages - stood their ground, refusing to leave the square and city streets.

Several shops were gutted and display windows smashed.

The violence erupted early in the morning as the debate on the government's latest round of economic measures began.

It was the second successive day of violence in Athens sparked by the government's new austerity program, though the sizeable demonstrations outside parliament were initially peaceful.

The government passed the mid-term plan in parliament with a majority of 155 votes. One hundred and thirty-eight deputies voted against the bill.

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