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article imageGreek police fire tear gas as anti-austerity protest turns violent

By AFP     May 18, 2017 in World

Greek police fired tear gas Thursday as a thousands-strong demonstration in Athens against new austerity cuts turned violent with some hooded youths throwing Molotov cocktails.

Police said more than 10,000 people took part in the protest outside parliament in the heart of the Greek capital just as the chamber was set to debate the new pension cuts and lower tax breaks -- applicable in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

The parliament is set to pass the bill in a vote expected around midnight which Athens hopes will help it gain a pledge of debt relief and loan disbursements by the country's EU-IMF creditors this month.

Live television images showed hooded youngsters lobbing firebombs at the police in the central Syntagma Square and throwing projectiles.

On Wednesday, at least 18,000 people demonstrated in Athens and the second city Thessaloniki in union-sponsored protests against the bill.

Athens hopes that the disbursement of 7 billion euros from existing bailout loans will be approved by a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on May 22.

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