[As Angela Merkel of Germany says the troika (the group of 3 imperial usurers) should give Greece "another chance" to surrender to the social starvation and onerous debt repayment terms demanded by the imperialist system, the people gave this response in the streets of Athens and Thessaloniki. -- Frontlines ed.]
DEREK GATOPOULOS Associated Press October 18, 2012
A pedestrian passes closed shops in Ermou street, Athens’ main shopping district as shopkeepers shut down for the 24-hour nationwide general strike on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Labor unions in recession-hobbled Greece are holding another general strike against a new harsh austerity program, as European leaders beset by a deep debt crisis and economic stagnation gather for a summit meeting in Brussels. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
ATHENS, Greece — Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence, less than a month after more intense clashes broke out during a similar protest.
Authorities said around 70,000 protesters took to the street in two separate demonstrations in Athens during the country’s second general strike in a month as workers across the country walked off the job to protest new austerity measures the government is negotiating with Greece’s international creditors.
A 65-year-old protester suffered a fatal heart attack during the demonstration but efforts to revive him failed. The organizers of the protest march he participated in said the man had fallen ill before any rioting had broken out.
The measures for 2013-14, worth â‚¬13.5 billion ($17.7 billion), aim to prevent the country from going bankrupt and potentially having to leave the 17-nation eurozone.
Riot police responded with volleys of tear gas and stun grenades in the capital’s Syntagma Square outside Parliament as protesters scattered during the clashes, which continued on and off for about an hour. Another general strike in late September had also seen limited, but much more intense, clashes between protesters and police.
Four demonstrators were injured after being hit by police, volunteer paramedics said. The Health Ministry said two of the protesters were treated in hospital and that their injuries were not serious.
Hundreds of police had been deployed in the Greek capital ahead of the demonstration, as such protests often turn violent. Police said about 50 people were detained Thursday.
A similar demonstration by about 17,000 people in the northern city of Thessaloniki ended peacefully.
Thursday’s strike was timed to coincide with a European Union summit in Brussels laer in the day, at which Greece’s economic fate will likely feature large. (more…)
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