01/05/13 16:36 CET
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Thousands of people have marched through Athens in a May Day protest against austerity. It coincided with a 24-hour general strike in Greece.
Communist party supporters converged on Syntagma Square, scene of violent clashes between police and demonstrators during previous protests.
The opposition Syriza party was also out in force – although overall turnout was lower than last year when 100,000 marched in the city centre.
Waves of belt-tightening measures have helped secure almost another nine billion euros in bailout money, but Syriza’s leader is not impressed.
“The economy will not be revived by the bankrupt banking empire or the corrupt political system. Working people will revive it with their struggle,” Alexis Tsipras said.
Public transport and other services shut down for the day, although the Athens metro was up and running again after three hours.
But not for the first time visitors were surprised to find the main tourist sites such as the Acropolis closed.
In the words of one American tourist, Charles Davenport from Washington:
“(The German Chancellor) Merkel has conquered Greece and these are the consequences! So here we are, and we probably won’t have the opportunity to see it again, so we are disappointed. It’s one of those things.”
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