Athens Police Hit With Molotov Cocktails During General Strike Protests Over Pension Reform

04/02/2016 16:35 | Updated 05 February 2016

Petrol bombs were hurled at riot police during the latest round of anti-government protests in Athens on Thursday. Troubled erupted as the country suffered another general strike in protest at an overhaul of the pension system, part of the third bailout package from Brussels.

Athens police reported sporadic clashes between anarchist protesters outside parliament as more than 50,000 Greeks marched through the capital. According to AP, demonstrations were also held in other towns and cities across Greece, with unions decrying the left wing Syriza government’s pension reforms, which include increasing social security contributions.

Critics argue the move could raise citizens’ contributions to around three-quarters of their total income, sparking protests from tens of thousands of working class Greeks. "They are raiding our souls not just our pockets," 70-year-old George Stathopoulos told Reuters. "They betrayed us." Pensioner Nikos Ghinis added: "They should be strung up here, in Syntagma Square," referring to the government.

Thursday's action is the second general strike since Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took power in January 2015.

  • ARIS MESSINIS via Getty Images
  • A firebomb explodes beside a riot police member during a massive protest on February 4, 2016.
  • LOUISA GOULIAMAKI via Getty Images
  • Riot police member run after protesters throwing stones and petrol bombs in central Athens during a massive protest on February 4, 2016.
  • Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
  • Riot policemen try to avoid a petrol bomb thrown by protesters during a 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.
  • Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
  • Riot policemen try to avoid a petrol bomb thrown by protesters during a 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.
  • Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
  • Riot policemen try to avoid a petrol bomb thrown by protesters during a 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.
  • ANGELOS TZORTZINIS via Getty Images
  • Demonstrators and medias run from tear gas during a massive protest in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on February 4, 2016.
  • ARIS MESSINIS via Getty Images
  • A firebomb explodes beside a riot police member during a massive protest on February 4, 2016.
  • ARIS MESSINIS via Getty Images
  • Demonstrators clash with Greek riot police in Athens, on February 4, 2016.
  • ARIS MESSINIS via Getty Images
  • Demonstrators clash with riot police in Athens. on February 4, 2016.
  • ANGELOS TZORTZINIS via Getty Images
  • A lawyer shouts a slogan during a 24-hour general strike in Athens on February 4, 2016.
  • ARIS MESSINIS via Getty Images
  • A riot police member walks through fire during a massive protest beside the Greek parliament during a massive protest on February 4, 2016.
  • LOUISA GOULIAMAKI via Getty Images
  • Demonstrators march towards the Greek parliament during a massive protest on February 4, 2016.
  • ARIS MESSINIS via Getty Images
  • A man sits outside a store as demonstrators clash with riot police in Athens, on February 4, 2016.
  • LOUISA GOULIAMAKI via Getty Images
  • Protesters gather in front of the Greek parliament in Athens during a massive protest rally on February 4, 2016.
  • LOUISA GOULIAMAKI via Getty Images
  • Demonstrators shout slogans beside the Greek parliament in Athens during a massive protest on February 4, 2016.
  • Milos Bicanski via Getty Images
  • Protesters clash with riot policemen during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on February 4, 2016 in Athens, Greece.
  • Milos Bicanski via Getty Images
  • Protesters clash with riot policemen during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on February 4, 2016 in Athens, Greece.
  • Milos Bicanski via Getty Images
  • Protesters clash with riot policemen during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on February 4, 2016 in Athens, Greece.
  • Milos Bicanski via Getty Images
  • Protesters and medias protect themselves from tear gas during a massive protest in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on February 4, 2016.
  • Milos Bicanski via Getty Images
  • Protesters clash with riot policemen during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on February 4, 2016 in Athens, Greece.
  • Milos Bicanski via Getty Images
  • Riot policemen use tear gas during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on February 4, 2016 in Athens, Greece.
  • Milos Bicanski via Getty Images
  • Riot police protect themselves from tear gas during a massive protest in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on February 4, 2016.
  • Milos Bicanski via Getty Images
  • Protesters throw stones at riot police during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on February 4, 2016 in Athens, Greece.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • A protester kicks a tear gas canister amid clashes with riot police during a 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Riot policemen stand through smoke amid clashes with protesters during a 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.

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