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Clean Up Begins In Athens As EU Commissioner Rehn Welcomes Greek Austerity Vote (PICTURES)

13/02/2012 15:34 GMT | Updated 13/02/2012 16:00 GMT

Clean up crews have begun clearing the rubble from Athens' streets in the wake of last night's violent riots, as the EU welcomed a Greek parliament vote backing harsh austerity measures demanded in return for a bailout worth £110 bn.

Firefighters extinguished the last of the flames lingering after Sunday's protests, with charred and blackened buildings looming as an ugly reminder of the weekend's violence, during which more than 120 people were injured. Nearly 50 buildings were set alight during the clashes.

Anger erupted into violence on the streets of the capital as the Greek parliament approved the austerity measures, which will cut one in five civil service jobs and slash the minimum wage.

'Whatever little hope people had left, I think that went on Sunday" Athens resident Alex Papasimakopoulou told the Huffington Post UK. The 38-year-old described the effects of the austerity measures as "horrific."

"Living with these type of cuts is just unsustainable" she said.

However EU Economics Commissioner Olli Rehn, speaking in Brussels, welcomed the vote, but pointed out that other conditions had to be met by Greece as well as parliamentary backing for a tougher austerity package.

"Yesterday's vote was a 'crucial step' towards adoption of the (bailout) programme," said Rehn.

The austerity programme would be "very demanding" but it would "pave the way to redress a difficult situation" he said.

Rehn stopped short of confirming that the bailout was now a certainty, but indicated that he felt optimistic that other stipulations would be met.

"I am confident that the other conditions, including the identification of concrete measures of 325m euro (£270m) will be completed by the next meeting of the eurogroup, which will then decide on the adoption of the programme."

He insisted rioters who wreaked havoc on the streets of Athens last night in response to more cutbacks did not represent the "vast majority" of Greek citizens, and condemned the "unacceptable violence".

"These individuals do not represent the vast majority of Greek citizens who are genuinely concerned for the future of their country and who are showing determination and resilience."

Greece has now been tasked with implementing the deal, as the Greek government was challenged to "sell" its latest austerity deal to the public and end a "spiral of unsustainable finances".

However the strength of feeling towards the deal can be seen in these dramatic pictures of last night's riots. Among the injured 68 were police officials, after rocks and petrol bombs were hurled at the officers by angry protesters.

Eurozone ministers will meet later this week to decide whether Greece has done enough to qualify for the EU-IMF bail-out Athens desperately needs to avoid bankruptcy in mid-March.

Rehn went on: "In the last weeks, there have been tensions both in Greece and within its partners. The correction of the serious imbalances affecting the Greek economy, and the restoration of the conditions for growth and jobs, are a long-term endeavour."

The EU would stand by the Greek people, he added, but the Greek authorities had to "take full ownership and make the case (for the bail-out) and then fully implement it".

The Commissioner pointed out: "In any case, Greece should have implemented most measures to balance its economy and boost sustainable growth and employment many years ago, even in the absence of such a (bail-out) programme, as the country has systematically lived beyond its means for a decade."

Read how austerity measures will effect the average Greek, and how it feels to live in the riot-torn capital, in an interview with a resident of Athens.

Greek Riots(CLONED)