Clash with Greek police

ATHENS – Greek police have fired tear gas to disperse anarchists throwing petrol bombs near parliament in Athens.

Dozens were arrested during the one-day strike against planned spending cuts of 11.5bn euros ($15bn; 9bn).

It was the first union-led action since a conservative-led coalition came to power in June.

The savings are a pre-condition to Greece receiving its next tranche of bailout funds, without which the country could face bankruptcy in weeks.

Greece needs the next 31bn-euro instalment of its international bailout, but with record unemployment and a third of Greeks pushed below the poverty line, there is strong resistance to further cuts.

The government of conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is proposing to save money by slashing pensions and raising the retirement age to 67.

But it has also urged the troika representing Greece’s lenders – the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – to give it an extra two years to push through the austerity programme.

On Tuesday Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras put a price on that delay for the first time – saying it would in effect cost as much as 15bn euros. (BBC)

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