Protesters clash with Greek police over debt crisis

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The Independent Online

Greek riot police fired teargas at protesters chanting "Burn Parliament" in Athens yesterday, just hours before lawmakers were to begin debating a sweeping pension reform to help tackle the country's huge debt crisis.

About 12,000 people took part in marches in Athens during a 24-hour nationwide strike – down from 50,000 in the biggest protest in May against austerity cuts imposed to secure a €110bn (£89.2bn) bailout from the European Union and the IMF.

"Burn Parliament!" a group of about 150 youths shouted as they threw sticks, stones, bottles and petrol bombs at police guarding the building.

The socialist government, which has 157 of the 300 seats in Parliament, was to begin preliminary consideration of an overhaul of pensions later yesterday. It will raise women's retirement age from 60 to match men on 65 and demand more years at work to qualify for a pension.