23rd February 2011, Athens, Greece.
Last year Greece faced finacial ruin and bankruptcy. Its financial affairs were in a mess and stringent financial measures were needed. Greece was not alone though, as many Eurpoean countries struggled to balance their books. The Greeks though are not armchair revoluntionaries, unlike UK citizens, but rather prepared to protest. So began a series of protests and strikes.
As is so often the case when many people gather in close proximity, the protests often ended in violence. Little has been heard lately about Greece but it seems the country's problems are far from over.
30,000 people attended a rally in Athens today. Today's rally was organised as part of a general strike, which caused chaos. Whether it was recent events in the middle east that caused the police to overreact is hard to determine but they used tear gas and stun grenades.
Some protesters had been throwing stones and fire bombs at police but many of the protesters were peaceful. Peaceful protesters fled from the scene in their thousands. They hid in side streets where possible.
A mob of protesters smashed the paving stones in front of the Bank of Greece. In Syntagma Square a police officer was injured when his uniform caught light. To date there have been three arrests and a couple of people injured.
The 24 hour strike has seen workers from the medical and education services on strike plus many other occupations. As usual Greek workers have remained united.
The Prime Minister of Greece, George Papandreou, is under pressure to make even more cuts in the coming days and months. The austerity measures implemented last year are not viewed as enough to save Greece from bankruptcy.
Before the violent clashes erupted today's rally was calm and peceful. In an attempt to avoid the heavy police presence though protesters marched to the Parliament chanting "Don't obey the rich - fight back".