Strike brings Greece to a halt again

Strike brings Greece to a halt again

Greece was hit by a new 24-hour nationwide general strike on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

The major anti-austerity mobilization comes as further spending cuts aimed at tackling the debt crisis is expected to be finalized this week.

Thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens and other major cities across the country. They protest against the cuts on salaries and pensions under the stability and reform program introduced two years ago.

However, the message the average recession-hit Greek demonstrator wish to send to decision makers in and outside Greece is hijacked as the scuffles erupted.

Minor scuffles between groups of hooded anarchist youths and anti-riot police broke out briefly on the margins of the main rally on Syntagma square on Wednesday afternoon.

The clashes mar an otherwise peaceful demonstration of an estimated 100,000 citizens.

The crowd dispersed as youth smashed bus stops, set trees on fire at the nearby National Garden and attacked police forces with rocks and petrol bombs who, in turn, responded with tear gas.

According to police sources and local media reports, three persons have been slightly injured and around 100 protesters have been detained.

Without austerity measures and rescue loans from European and international lenders since May 2010, Greece faces the risk of bankruptcy and an exit from the eurozone.

However, Greek demonstrators on Wednesday said under the burden of austerity and recession, many are already facing bankruptcy in their households and work.

Labor unions pledge to plan another general strike shortly, even if parliament ratifies the new austerity measures in the coming weeks.

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