Friday, February 27, 2015

Greek Clashes: Protesters In Syriza Backlash

Friday, 27th February 2015

Protesters have clashed with riot police in Greece in the first display of anti-government sentiment since the leftist Syriza party took power a month ago.

Around 450 people took to the streets of Athens on Friday to demonstrate against the newly elected left-right coalition government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, which agreed a deal with EU partners last week to extend an EU aid programme to Athens.

The deal has triggered dissent within Mr Tsipras' own party and accusations by some on the hard left that the government is going back on pre-election promises.

After the march, around 50 activists in hooded tops hurled petrol bombs and stones at police in the city's Exarchia district.

A small number of shop windows and bus stops were also smashed or damaged during the violence.

The leftist government was elected on 25 January on a promise to write off a chunk of the country's debt and end tough austerity measures which are blamed for pushing one in four Greeks out of work.

Meanwhile, Greece's four-month bailout extension is expected to get wide support in the German Parliament after a large majority of lawmakers in Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc signalled their backing on Thursday.

Parliament will vote today on the deal hammered out by Eurozone finance ministers.

Volker Kauder, caucus leader of Mrs Merkel's bloc, said an "overwhelming majority" of his lawmakers will back the agreement.

In a test vote among the 311 conservative lawmakers, 22 opposed the bailout extension and five abstained. A minority of conservative lawmakers has consistently voted against bailouts over the five years of Europe's debt crisis.

Greek Clashes: Protesters In Syriza Backlash | LBC