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Greek protesters clash with riot police over further austerity reforms

More than 18,000 people rallied in Athens in protest at further tax hikes and pension reforms.

VIOLENT SCENES HAVE erupted scenes in Greece, after thousands of protesters took to the streets once more in anti-austerity demonstrations last night.

Riot police fired tear gas to disperse petrol bomb-throwing protesters in Athens ahead of a vote by lawmakers on a controversial tax and pensions overhaul.

Greece Bailout Source: YORGOS KARAHALIS

Hooded youths lobbed flares and Molotov cocktails at officers who responded with volleys of tear gas in clashes outside the parliament in the early evening, where some 10,000 protesters turned out to show their anger at the latest reforms demanded by Greece’s creditors.

Greece Bailout Source: YORGOS KARAHALIS

Police said more than 18,000 people rallied over the course of the day in the Greek capital, while around 8,000 turned out in the second city of Thessaloniki against the measures demanded by the EU and IMF.

Greece Bailout Source: YORGOS KARAHALIS

The protests came as Greek lawmakers adopted a controversial package of pension cuts and tax hikes.

Eurozone finance ministers will hold an emergency meeting today to hammer out fresh reforms for Athens to stave off another eurozone crisis.

The measures are part of an austerity package demanded by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in exchange for the next tranche of an €86 billion bailout agreed in July – the third for the debt-laden country since 2010.

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Greece May Day Source: YORGOS KARAHALIS

Earlier, a sea of demonstrators marched through the streets waving banners with many of those taking part supporters of the communist-leaning PAME trade union.

“Social security, public and compulsory for all. The plutocracy must pay,” said one union banner.

Numbers were, however, significantly down on February protests when 40,000 people marched in Athens alone.

- © AFP, 2016

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