October 30, 2020

Violent protesters attack peaceful ones in Athens

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Violent rioters attacked peaceful demonstrators with firebombs and stones Thursday as tens of thousands turned out in Athens to decry unpopular new austerity measures demanded by creditors to keep Greece afloat.

As the second day of a general strike paralyzed the country, more than 50,000 peaceful demonstrators flooded downtown Syntagma Square outside parliament, the scene of violent protests on Wednesday.

Creditors have demanded that Greece pass the extra austerity measures before they give the country more funds from a euro110 billion ($152 billion) bailout loan from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund. Greece says it will run out of money in mid-November without the next euro8 billion ($11 billion) installment.

Greek lawmakers on Thursday were voting on details of the proposals, which include putting 30,000 public servants on reduced pay and suspending collective labor contracts.

The demands have enraged ordinary Greeks. Communist party supporters taking part in the Thursday’s rally set up a cordon in front of parliament to prevent hard-liners from starting fights with police.

But they came under repeated attacks by hundreds of masked protesters in motorcycle helmets who threw gasoline bombs and chunks of marble into the crowd. Fights broke out as the Communist party supporters retaliated. Chaos ensued as protesters and masked youths armed with clubs charged each other, and riot police fired volleys of tear gas to separate the two sides.

 

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