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A woman seeks to get out of harm's way at Syntagma Square in front of the Greek parliament on Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Petros Karadjias / Associated Press

Protesters scuffle with riot police Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP

A demonstrator wearing tear-gas protection takes aim at riot police in front of the Greek parliament.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU / ANA-MPA

Cobblestones lie on the ground as demonstrators battle with riot police near the Greek parliament building Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU / ANA-MPA

A demonstrator grabs a riot police officer in front of the Greek parliament Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LOUISA GOULIAMAKI / AFP

A protester throws a garbage bag at riot police in front of the Greek parliament Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Petros Giannakouris / Associated Press

A riot officer arrests a protester.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Petros Giannakouris / Associated Press

Protesters take cover from tear gas inside a shop on Syntagma Square on Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Petros Karadjias / Associated Press

A firebomb explodes among Greek riot police in the capital Tuesday as demonstrations against austerity measures turn violent.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Petros Giannakouris / Associated Press

A protester runs from tear gas Tuesday during the general strike.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP

A protester wearing a gas mask walks beside a burning van during violent protests Tuesday against austerity measures.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: YANNIS BEHRAKIS / X00025

A demonstrator is arrested by riot police during clashes in front of the parliament. Millions of Greeks participated in a general strike that paralyzed Greece to oppose new austerity measures.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU / ANA-MPA

Demonstrators clash with riot police in front of the Greek parliament.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ORESTIS PANAGIOTU / ANA-MPA

Demonstrators and police clash in front of the Greek Parliament during a protest as part of a 48-hour general strike.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP

Rock-throwers clash with riot police.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ORESTIS PANAGIOTU / ANA-MPA

Surrounded by photographers, riot police arrest demonstrators during a demonstration.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: AP / Associated Press

A demonstrator faces police.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: AP / Associated Press

Riot police surround Syntagma square during a 48-hour general strike.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP

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Protesters clash with riot police in Athens strike

As tens of thousands of angry protesters thronged downtown Athens, the Greek parliament  on Wednesday approved an austerity bill that helps pull their debt-ridden country back from the brink of an immediate default. After days of public unrest and impassioned debate, the  parliament voted 155-138  in favor of the controversial bill, which authorizes $40 billion in budget cuts and tax hikes over the next several years for a nation already reeling from previous belt-tightening measures.

The tense legislative showdown came as the country continued to squirm in the grip of a 48-hour nationwide strike.  Police in riot gear scuffled with some demonstrators and tried to contain the kind of violence that on Tuesday left dozens of people injured, shop windows smashed and tourists running to escape tear-gas fumes.

The demonstrators, who have been camping out in Syntagma Square, in the heart of Athens, tried to prevent lawmakers from entering the parliament building for Wednesday’s vote. Many ordinary Greeks feel that they are being punished for the bad decisions and corrupt practices of current and past governments.

About 5,000 riot police were on hand to try to contain outbursts of violence, most of it by self-styled anarchists who threw rocks and other projectiles and shattered storefront windows Tuesday. Protesters have also gathered atop the ancient Acropolis, where they unfurled banners urging activists to “organize” and “counterattack.”

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1 Comment

  1. June 30, 2011, 1:45 pm

    I think this may come to good old IOUSA at some point in the not-too-distant future.

    By: Chris AustinTX

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