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Tension, scuffles in Greece over austerity

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 01:27

Jan. 30 - Police clash with protesters in front of the Greek labour ministry in Athens following a symbolic occupation of the building in opposition to government austerity measures. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: Tensions between protesters and police escalated outside the Greek Labour Ministry on Wednesday (January 30) following their arrest for a symbolic occupation of the building. Police detained a group of 30 demonstrators, members of the Communist Party Labour Union (PAME), who forced their way into the ministry and occupied Labour Minister Yannis Vroutsis' office for a few hours in opposittion to austerity measures. During the arrests, about 300 demonstrators rallied outside the ministry in support with the detainees. Police fired several rounds of tear gas at the protesters who struck them and threw projectiles as the arrested protesters were piled into two police vans. Two demonstrators were slightly injured during the clashes, according to Reuters witnesses. Some of the protesters chanting "You're either with the capitalists or the workers" said they were protesting against comments made by Vroutsis a day earlier, who said that the country's social security system was founded on clientelism. Last week, the government forced striking metro workers protesting against wage cuts to return to work after a nine-day walkout that had caused traffic chaos in the capital. Transport unions and electricity workers plan more anti-austerity strikes this week despite government warnings and statements that it will not back down. Tensions continued as the buses were loaded and taken away, with hundreds of protesters still testing police after the first clashes. Protests have been continuous since the current government introduced a new wave of austerity measures in November 2012 that reduced wages, pensions and cut jobs.

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Tension, scuffles in Greece over austerity

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 01:27

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