Greek protesters turn on each other

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Greek protesters turn on each other

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Clashes have broken out between rival groups of protesters in front of the Greek parliament where lawmakers are due to vote on sweeping new austerity measures.

Members of the Communist PAME union turned on hooded youths who had begun hurling rocks and petrol bombs at them. PAME traditionally supports peaceful rallies.

Yesterday’s protest ended in violence with 70 people – including 50 police officers – injured.

A huge crowd amassed in front of parliament building again today, determined to be heard.

“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,” added another.

The newspapers speak of a national rage.

That is concentrated largely on a clause in the austerity package ending collective bargaining.

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