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Violent Protests Hit Greece and Spain

Since Tuesday, protests have taken a violent turn in Greece and Spain as tens of thousands of people gathered in Athens and Madrid to express discontent over new austerity measures.

In Athens, violence broke out after a 24 hour nationwide strike got underway. At least 50,000 marched towards the Greek parliament building in what was the first 24 hour strike since the election of a conservative-led coalition government earlier this year. Three major unions called the strike to protest against fresh wage and pension cuts, higher fuel taxes and planned job cuts for public sector workers.

In Madrid, thousands of demonstrators besieged the country’s parliament building, which was guarded by around 1,500 policemen. The unrest came ahead of a tough budget announcement by Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, scheduled for Thursday.

Spanish newspapers are reporting that 64 people were injured, 27 of which were policemen. Demonstrators are calling for the protests to continue on Wednesday night and Saturday.

Click ahead for scenes from the protests.

Posted 26 Sept 2012

Photo: Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images