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Greeks begin general strike in protest at painful cuts

Alkis Konstantinidis / AFP - Getty Images

People sit in front of a closed bank in Athens on June 28 during a general strike. Greece ground to a halt on June 28 as a 48-hour general strike began to bite against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts.

Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP - Getty Images

Communist-affiliated unionists rally toward the Greek parliament in Athens on June 28.

Filippo Monteforte / AFP - Getty Images

A demonstrator stands on a fake gallows set in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 28.

msnbc.com news services report from ATHENS, Greece:

Thousands of demonstrators began gathering in front of the Greek parliament Tuesday at the start of a two-day strike to protest against painful cuts demanded by international lenders as the price for more financial aid.

More than 5,000 police were to guard Athens' city center, as protesters hold a rally outside Parliament, chanting anti-austerity slogans. Another demonstration is scheduled to start later in the morning.

Everyone from doctors and ambulance drivers to casino workers and even actors at a state-funded theater was to join the protest, which is to continue Wednesday. Continue reading.

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