ATHENS, Greece — Greek bank workers walked off the job in a 24-hour strike Thursday to protest the deaths of three colleagues trapped in a bank torched by protesters during massive demonstrations. Wednesday's deaths – the first such fatalities in protests in nearly 20 years in Greece – have shocked the public in a country where violence during demonstrations is frequent but rarely results in casualties.
The deaths came as an estimated 100,000 people marched through Athens during a nationwide strike against additional austerity measures imposed to unlock a $140 billion rescue loan package for debt-ridden Greece from the International Monetary Fund and the other 15 countries that use the euro.
Deputies were debating the measures Thursday and were to vote on passing the draft bill on Thursday night. Prime Minister George Papandreou's Socialists hold a comfortable majority of 160 deputies in the 300-seat Parliament, and the bill is expected to pass easily.