Before the violence broke out in Athens, tens of thousands of people gathered outside the parliament to express their anger at the government’s austerity programme.
Although groups did try try to scale the steps up to the parliament itself and clashed with police, protesters were happy enough just to shout slogans.
“These measures are unacceptable and destructive – destructive because these loans will be paid off at double or triple the amount. Destructive because when they were being granted, they were imposing conditions of dependency on Greece,” said one man.
The crowd heard speeches from several union leaders who had called for a general strike, and heard expressions of solidarity from abroad.
“Everyone also knows the response of the EU was hesitant, clumsy, and now positively dangerous, not just to Greece but to all,” said John Monks of the European Trade Union Confederation.
Many feel it is ordinary people who will be paying the price for this crisis, while the rich evade taxes and engage in corruption. Cries of “Traitors” and “Thieves” filled the air.