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Greek protesters hurl firebombs at police

Aris Messinis / AFP - Getty Images

Protesters throw petrol bombs at riot police as they demonstrate in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on October 19 as a two-day general strike began against a new austerity bill demanded by Greece's international creditors to avert bankruptcy. Over 52,000 people converged on central Syntagma Square, where parliament is located, in separate protests organised by unions but also joined by unaffiliated Greeks fed up with austerity cuts.

Orestis Panagiotou / EPA

Strikers clash with riot police during a general strike demonstration in Athens on October 19. Protesters oppose strict austerity measures imposed by the Greek government and troika.

Yiorgos Karahalis / Reuters

A woman shouts while taking part in an anti-austerity rally in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) square on October 19. Greek unions begin a 48-hour general strike on Wednesday, the biggest protest in years, as parliament prepares to vote on sweeping new austerity measures designed to stave off a default that could trigger a crisis in the wider euro zone.

Yannis Behrakis / Reuters

People walk past the Greek parliament during an anti-austerity rally in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) square on October 19. Greek unions begin a 48-hour general strike on Wednesday, the biggest protest in years, as parliament prepares to vote on sweeping new austerity measures designed to stave off a default that could trigger a crisis in the wider euro zone.

From msnbc.com news services:

ATHENS, Greece — Demonstrators on Wednesday threw stones and gasoline bombs at police outside parliament during a two-day general strike that unions described as the largest in years.

The protest, which has grounded flights, disrupted public transport and shut down shops to schools in Greece, comes ahead of a parliamentary vote on a fresh package of tax increases and spending cuts required by international creditors in return for crucial bailout cash. Without the money from its partners that use the euro and the International Monetary Fund, Greece has said it will run out of money within a month.  For more on this story click here.