Violent Clashes in Athens as Latest General Strike Paralyzes Greece
October 18, 2012
The latest demonstrations against austerity measures in Greece have led to some clashes between protesters and police. Four thousand officers have been deployed to protect parliament and government ministries. Thousands of people have been gathering in central Athens amid a general strike, the second major walkout in three weeks. A 65-year-old activist at the demonstration died of an apparent heart attack. He was not thought to have been close to the main clashes with police. Many protesters want to send a clear message to EU leaders saying "no" to further austerity. Ships have stayed in port, public transport in the capital has been disrupted, hospitals have been operating on emergency-only, while public offices and many shops have remained closed. Several marches have been planned to coincide with the 24-hour stoppage, called by the two largest unions. Greece is planning 11.5 billion euros of cuts to secure its next batch of bailout aid. With the country due to run out of money next month, the government feels it has little choice but to implement the cuts which include a drastic reduction in welfare and health spending.
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