Athens rocked by protests - Macleans.ca

Athens rocked by protests

Violence marks demonstrations against Greek austerity measures

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Protesters took to the streets of Athens Friday after the Greek parliament passed a series of austerity measures aimed at cutting into the country’s crippling debt. Riot police used tear gas and baton charges to disperse protesters who smashed the glass fronts of two banks, two hotels, a mobile phone shop and a fast-food restaurant. Earlier in the day, left-wing militants violently attacked one of Greece’s top union leaders, Yiannis Panagopoulos, while he was addressing the crowd. The measures introduced by the government are projected to boost government revenues by $6.7 billion via tax increases and drastic cuts to the salaries of civil servants. The Greek government hopes to introduce legislation that will shave a total of $22.4 billion off the country’s staggering $42 billion deficit, which is four times higher than allowed under EU rules.

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