‘We have been betrayed!’ Firebombs and protests mark Greek day of voting
Firebombs thrown by furious anti-austerity protesters exploded in front of Greece’s parliament Wednesday as anger over a new bailout deal spilled onto the streets of the capital.
As lawmakers prepared to vote on the unpopular deal, police fired tear gas to push back dozens of hooded and masked protesters, who threw rocks and stones as they chanted angrily in Syntagma square.
“We have been betrayed!” shouted a man in a balaclava, as police used pepper spray and gas to stop a crowd breaching a security line blocking off the road to the prime minister’s office.
The violence erupted on the sidelines of a rally of 12,500 people opposed to the passage of the reforms which many fear will increase suffering in the already debt-laden country.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and eurozone counterparts agreed to the tough reforms on Monday in order to unlock a new rescue for Greece worth up to 86 billion ($94 billion) — angering many in his anti-austerity party and other leftwing supporters.
Officers could be seen dragging protesters away in handcuffs and police sources said some 40 people had been detained.
Close to 20 police riot vans lined the streets around Syntagma, where ambulance workers and firemen handed out water to protesters caught in clouds of stinging tear gas.