By Windsor Genova


Athens, Greece

Anti-government protesters who joined the start of a two-day national strike in Greece clashed with police in front of the parliament in Athens.

Six protesters and 15 policemen were injured in the exchange of rocks, petrol bombs, tear gas and stun grenades after demonstrators were prevented by a police barricade from getting closer to the parliament building.

The strike, joined by some 70,000 union workers from different industries, started peacefully in central Athens. By noon, demonstrators started throwing rocks and firebombs at some 100 police guarding the parliament, triggering the violent clashes.

The nationwide strike was called to protest the government and parliament's plan to introduce laws that will add new taxes, cut pension and wages, and reduce the number of state workers by the thousands. The austerity plan was intended to arrest a runaway budget deficit and convince EU creditors to release another batch of multi-billion euro bailout loan to pay debts and remain operating.

Meanwhile, EU leaders and finance ministers are finalizing a plan to stabilize the financial markets in the region amid the debt crisis engulfing Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Italy.

World - Greece: Strike Turns Violent as Protesters, Police Clash | Global Viewpoint