What started as a peaceful protest march turned suddenly into a pitched battle between riot police and a small group of protesters in central Athens. Police say the group emerged from a section of the march sponsored by the Left Coalition, a breakaway communist party that has been accused of giving safe haven to anarchists. The group set upon about a dozen riot police guarding the Council of State, one of Greece’s highest courts. Witnesses say they managed to isolate and badly beat up one officer. They also tore up marble steps for ammunition, and smashed plate glass windows on central avenues. A strike today shut down schools and hospitals, state media, public transport and at least one ministry. Flights were grounded for four hours. Labour unions and left wing parties, responsible for the protests, are scheduling more strikes against what they see as one-sided deficit-reduction measures victimising workers.
View the Irish Times article.