Prime Minister George Papandreou offered Greeks no respite from the harsh austerity measures as the country continues to adhere to the conditions of the EU/IMF 110 billion euro bailout deal.
Papandreou in his annual economic policy speech in Thessaloniki said Greece was fighting for its very existence.
That was not what the 20,000 protesters on the streets of the city wanted to hear.
The public are growing tired of the belt-tightening measures after the Socialist government imposed tax hikes and draconian salary and pension cuts prompting strikes and demonstrations.
A few hundred youths tried to break through police lines but were repelled by tear gas.
Despite his difficulties Papandreou’s Socialists are still ahead of their conservative rivals in the latest opinion polls.