Athens (AFP) – Firebombs thrown by furious anti-austerity protesters exploded in front of Greece’s parliament Wednesday as anger over a new bailout deal spilled onto the streets of the capital.
As lawmakers prepared to vote on the unpopular deal, police fired tear gas to push back dozens of hooded and masked protesters, who threw rocks and stones as they chanted angrily in Syntagma square.
“We have been betrayed!” shouted a man in a balaclava, as police used pepper spray and gas to stop a crowd breaching a security line blocking off the road to the prime minister’s office.
The violence erupted on the sidelines of a rally of 12,500 people opposed to the passage of the reforms which many fear will increase suffering in the already debt-laden country.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and eurozone counterparts agreed to the tough reforms on Monday in order to unlock a new rescue for Greece worth up to 86 billion ($94 billion) — angering many in his anti-austerity party and other leftwing supporters.
Officers could be seen dragging protesters away in handcuffs and police sources said some 40 people had been detained.
– ‘Government of traitors’ –
The majority of Greeks voted against similar austerity terms in a referendum on July 5.
“Our government is a government of traitors. We voted ‘No’ then Tsipras signs up to even worse conditions. It’s madness,” raged unemployed demonstrator Arsenios Pappas, 35, before the violence broke out.
“People are angry. Yes Tsipras had a choice, he chose to lie to us. This is the result,” said Maximos, 37, as protesters near him waved a sign reading “We said ‘No’, we meant ‘No'”.
Full article: ‘We have been betrayed!’ Protest turns violent as Greece votes (Yahoo!)