On the streets of Athens the crack of tear gas being fired echoed in the city. The clashes erupted between police and anti-austerity protesters many of whom hurled petrol bombs.
The violence broke out as Greek workers staged a general strike against measures introduced by Alexis Tsipras’s left-wing Syriza government.
It is the first such walk out since he came to power in January. The PM had to accept unpopular terms of Greece’s third bailout.
The government has agreed to push through tax rises and spending cuts in return for 86 billion euros in rescue loans.
The strike came as the international lenders met in Athens to review compliance with the latest package.
Many of Tsipras’s own party joined the strike which shut down offices and led to transport links being closed.
Analysts said the walk out illustrated the political juggling act Tsipras is trying to pull off with many in his party believing industrial action would strengthen his hand in talks with lenders.
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