Greek Workers Strike Over Austerity

Protesters clash with police in Athens
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2012 6:58 AM CST
Commuters wait for the first train after a five-hour work stoppage by urban rail workers, as all other public transport employees are on a 48-hour strike, in Athens on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012.   (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
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(Newser) – Greece's major unions launched a 48-hour general strike today, protesting the latest austerity cuts designed to appease international creditors. Thousands of people poured into the streets of Athens, the AP reports, and demonstrations occasionally got ugly; outside of Parliament, dozens of youths hurled fire bombs and stones at police, who responded by firing tear gas. So far no arrests or injuries have been reported. About 7,000 took part in that protest, according to police, while a separate Communist demonstration drew 10,000.

The turmoil in the streets wasn't the only headache for Greece's leaders. Finance ministers from the other 16 eurozone countries pulled the rug out from under them yesterday, demanding another $430 million in spending cuts, and insisting that all cuts pass through Greece's volatile parliament and be guaranteed to stand regardless of the outcome of April's elections. "The choice we face is one of sacrifice, or even greater sacrifice—on a scale that cannot be compared," Greece's finance minister said. (Read more Greece stories.)

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