(Photo from Twitter)
Rioting has once again broken out in the streets of economically devastated Greece.
The Greek parliament has approved a deeply unpopular austerity bill to secure a second bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund and avoid a messy default.
Ahead of the evening parliamentary vote, serious violence broke out on the streets of Athens and spread to other Greek towns and cities, including on the holiday islands of Corfu and Crete.
With eurozone leaders declaring it was time for Greece to put up or shut up and that Athens’ promises could no longer be believed, Greece’s two main political parties and the caretaker prime minister had invoked apocalyptic scenarios for the country if the €3.3bn (£2.76bn) of cuts ordained by the eurozone were not supported.
The bill was passed with 199 votes in favour, but 74 against.
Earlier in the evening there were street battles between police firing rounds of tear gas and demonstrators hurling firebombs and marble slabs, which left Syntagma Square – the plaza in front of the parliament building – resembling a war zone. Rubbish bins burned as plumes of smoke and choking clouds of toxic chemicals filled the air.
Bangs could be heard inside parliament and the tear gas drifting across the square reached the debating chamber. Last night several buildings had been set on fire, including a cinema, bank and a number of shops, and Greek television reported that dozens of citizens and at least 40 police officers had been injured.
As voting got under way, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos urged calm, pointing to the country’s dire financial situation. […]
Zero Hedge has updates, noting Greek police forces have run out of tear gas.
Believe me, “Occupy” is watching…