Central Athens has been turned into a battlefield with demonstrators and riot police clashing as Greece experiences the biggest wave of street protests since the beginning of the economic crisis.
The crowd of many tens of thousands rocked barricades and hurled missiles including molotov cocktails at security forces who retorted with tear gas and baton charges.
The protests coincide with the start of a 48-hour strike that has paralysed much of Greece. Public transport is at a standstill and banks, schools and shops are closed.
The aim is to put pressure on parliament as it debates Prime Minister George Papandreou’s latest austerity bill.
A first vote is due in the coming hours.