Published On: Wed, Feb 23rd, 2011

Greek protests battling with police in Athens

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ATHENS (Dow Jones)–A protest by several thousand workers, leftists and civil servants turned violent Wednesday as demonstrators clashed with police in the streets of central Athens.

In the central square outside the parliament building, several hundred youths hurled projectiles, fire crackers and Molotov cocktails at police, who responded with volleys of tear gas and stun grenades.

The mostly peaceful protests were called by Greece’s two umbrella unions, GSEE and ADEDY, that together have 1.2 million members, to protest ongoing Greek government austerity measures.

Despite the violence, turnout at the protest was moderate by recent standards with eye witnesses estimating a total crowd size of about 20,000.

The clashes spread to other points around the city center with police and protesters fighting street battles near the University of Athens campus and in some of the side streets of the central business district.

Protesters also set up ad hoc road blocks to hamper police motorcycle brigades, and also attacked shop fronts and set small fires in garbage bins.

-By Alkman Granitsas

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110223-707431.html

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