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Scenes From The Greek Protests

The Greek Parliament has voted to back a package of deep spending cuts that should go some way to clearing a path for the release of funds and potentially a second bailout for the country by the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Greek unions began a 48-hour strike as protests in Syntagma Square, outside the parliament building, turned violent as MPs debated the austerity package. Police fired tear gas to contain crowds and fought running battles with protestors, who attacked the finance ministry building in Athens as voting began.

Earlier in the month, Greece's parliament backed Prime Minister George Papandreou's new cabinet in a vote of confidence and stone-throwing Greeks clashed with police and tens of thousands of protesters marched on parliament to oppose government efforts to pass new austerity measures. Unions representing half the five-million-strong workforce also launched a nationwide strike, shutting ports, schools and other basic services in the Mediterranean state.

As the situation continues to develop, check back for the newest images from Athens.

Updated 29 June 2011

Photo: Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images