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Greek austerity protests turn violent

Yannis Behrakis / Reuters

A protester wearing a gas mask walks beside a burning van during violent protests against austerity measures in Athens onTuesday, June 28. With Greece teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, parliament is due to vote this week on a package of spending cuts, tax increases and privatisations agreed as part of a massive bailout aimed at averting the euro zone's first default.

Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP - Getty Images

A protestor throws a broken piece of furniture to riot police during clashes at central Athens Syntagma square by the Greek Parliament on Tuesday. Workers staged a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations.

Yiorgos Karahalis / Reuters

A demonstrator jumps to attempt to break a window displaying an image of an ancient greek galley during protests against austerity measures in Athens on Tuesday.

 

msnbc.com news services reports:

ATHENS, Greece — Riot police fired tear gas at youths hurling rocks and setting trash bins on fire near the Greek finance ministry Tuesday, trying to quell the anger unleashed by a general strike as parliament debated new cost-cutting measures.

The latest austerity plan must pass in two parliamentary votes Wednesday and Thursday if Greece is to receive bailout funds from the EU and the IMF that will keep it from becoming the first eurozone nation to default on its debts. Continue reading.