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Violence flares as Greek strike bites

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Violence flares as Greek strike bites

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Greece has all but shut down at the start of a 48-hour strike to protest at the government’s austerity measures, and in Athens some demonstators have turned violent.

The public sector union and the biggest private sector union have joined forces in calling the stoppage to put pressure on parliament ahead of the crucial vote on the austerity package.

Initially peaceful, today’s demonstrations turned nasty as young people’s anger boiled over. Youth unemployment in Greece is already at 40 percent.

Police responded to stone-throwing with tear gas, and there are fears the violence may reach Syntagma square in front of parliament, where the atmosphere at the moment is calm, but has not always been in recent weeks.