24 Feb 2011

Violence erupts at rally during Greece general strike

10:58 am on 24 February 2011

As a general strike gripped Greece, police in Athens have fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators hurling petrol bombs and stones.

Violence erupted during a rally by more than 30,000 angry workers near the Greek parliament, the BBC reports. The workers object to the government's far-reaching budget cuts.

The 24-hour strike paralysed public transport, and closed schools and hospitals. Small businesses have joined in, closing many shops.

The government is sticking to austerity cuts demanded under the terms of the country's international bail-out.

The Socialist government of Prime Minister George Papandreou is cutting spending and raising taxes to reduce its huge debt.