Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Protestors in Greece, rallying against austerity measures, have clashed with police in the capital of Athens.
Some people participating in the rally — attended by thousands of teachers and students — threw stones at riot police, who responded by employing pepper spray, although the BBC described the protests as being generally peaceful. Demonstrators say that a recent austerity proposal, which is to include pension cuts and an increase in taxes, will adversely affect the education sector.
Teachers, along with hospital workers and public servants, have started a two-day strike over the measures. Also present were 150 members of the armed forces, who protested having their bonuses lowered.
Meanwhile, earlier on Tuesday, approximately a hundred demonstrators with the Communist Party broke through locks at the Acropolis and hung up banners saying: “Peoples of Europe — Rise Up”.
Communist Member of Parliament Nikos Papaconstantinou commented: “We want to send a message to the farthest reaches of Greece and Europe. Similar measures that eliminate social security are taken across Europe. But popular anger will rattle imperialist organisations.”
The austerity plan comes shortly after the Greek government said it would introduce spending cuts to obtain a loan package by the EU and International Monetary Fund, aimed at helping Greece recover from a financial crisis.