Crowds keep up pressure on Greek parliament

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Crowds keep up pressure on Greek parliament

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Greece’s mass protest and strike has entered its second day as parliament prepares to hold its final vote on the latest round of austerity measures aimed at saving the country from bankruptcy.

As on Wednesday, public transport, schools, shops and banks are shut and tens of thousands of demonstrators are massed in central Athens – determined to be heard.

Most controversial in the bill is a clause ending collective bargaining.

“I want to tell the government we won’t let this pass easily. We will fight this bill. We will fight so they do not put an end to labour contracts which will put us back a century,” said one man.

“We will fight so that this law is never put into practice. With this battle we will also fight the pre-conditions that create these policies,” said another.

Some members of the ruling socialist PASOK party, which has a majority of just four, have hinted they may vote against the clause.

Today’s newspaper headlines speak of the rage of yesterday.

Last night a mass rally ended in violence as protesters fought running battles with riot police.

Molotov cocktails and other missiles were traded for teargas grenades. Windows were smashed and bins set alight in the streets surrounding parliament.