Fierce Clashes On Streets Of Athens During Anti Austerity Protest

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The first general strike in Greece since Alexis Tsipras took power was marred by violence in Athens, with demonstrators throwing Molotov cocktails at police, who in turn responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

Before the clashes erupted, more than 20,000 people marched through the Greek capital to urge the government to abandon the austerity measures demanded by its lenders.

RT reports: The demonstrators are rallying against austerity measures including spending cuts and tax hikes, which were adopted by the government formed by the leftist Syriza party after it won the January elections.

The general strike has seriously disrupted public transportation in the country. The Athens metro system is not running, bus and trolley routes have been considerably reduced, and connections between Greek islands and the mainland have been nearly brought to a halt as public ferries remain tied in ports.

Dozens of domestic flights have been canceled. The strike has left many museums closed, damaging the tourism industry. Students stayed home on Thursday, as schools did not open in the absence of teachers.

Some printed media is expected to hit the streets, although online news outlets are not being updated. Only emergency teams remain on duty in hospitals, and pharmacies are closed.

The strike is being supported by the left-wing labor policy division of the ruling Syriza Party, which takes aim at the austerity policies enacted by its own government.

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