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Violent Protests Hit Greece and Spain

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Violent Protests Hit Greece and Spain

Protests took a violent turn in Greece and Spain on Wednesday and Tuesday as tens of thousands of people gathered in Athens and Madrid to express their discontent over new austerity measures.In Athens, violence broke out as 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 agains
Photo: Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images

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

Greek Protestor Holds Burned US Flag

A protestor holds a burned American flag on Syntagma Square during a 24-hour labour strike September 26, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Today marks Greece's first big anti-austerity strike since the coalition government took power in June.

A protestor holds a burned American flag on Syntagma Square during a 24-hour labour strike September 26, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Today marks Greece's first big anti-austerity strike since the coalition government took power in June.

Greek Anarchists Spark Violence

A demonstrator holds a black flag in front of riot police on September 26, 2012 in Athens during clashes with demonstrators on a 24-hour general strike. Police in Athens clashed with hooded youths mainly from anarchist groups (Zografou autonomous union)throwing firebombs on the sidelines of a large demonstration against a new round of austerity cuts.
Photo: Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images

A demonstrator holds a black flag in front of riot police on September 26, 2012 in Athens, during clashes with demonstrators on a 24-hour general strike. Police in Athens clashed with hooded youths, mainly from anarchist groups (Zografou autonomous union)throwing firebombs on the sidelines of a large demonstration against a new round of austerity cuts.

Greek Police Use Tear Gas to Control Demonstrators

A police officer throws a stone toward demonstrators on September 26, 2012 during a 24-hours general strike in Athens. Police let of tear gas and used batons to disperse protestors.
Photo: Louisa Goulimaki | AFP |GettyImages

A police officer throws a stone toward demonstrators on September 26, 2012, during a 24-hours general strike in Athens. Police let off tear gas and used batons to disperse protestors.

Greek Anarchists Throw Rocks and Fire Bombs

Police in Athens clashed with anarchist youths, dressed in black and equipped with gas masks for police tear gas, they threw firebombs and hurled rocks on the sidelines of a large demonstration against a new round of austerity cuts.
Photo: Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images

Police in Athens clashed with anarchist youths, dressed in black and equipped with gas masks for police tear gas, they threw firebombs and hurled rocks on the sidelines of a large demonstration against a new round of austerity cuts.

Greek Riot Police Clash With Protesters

A fire bomb explodes behind a riot police squad on September 26, 2012 in Athens during clashes with demonstrators at a 24-hours general strike.
Photo: Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images

A fire bomb explodes behind a riot police squad on September 26, 2012 in Athens during clashes with demonstrators at a 24-hours general strike.

Demonstrators and Police Clash During Madrid Protests

Demonstrators and police clash during a protest against the government's austerity measures in the city centre of Madrid, Spain, on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Madrid to protest and call for a referendum on policies that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has implemented in breach of election pledges. More than 1,350 police were on the streets after the government called in reinforcements from other provinces, said a police official who declined to be named in line
Photo: Angel Navarrete | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Demonstrators and police clash during a protest against the government's austerity measures in the city centre of Madrid on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. Thousands of demonstrators gathered there to protest and call for a referendum on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's austerity policies. More than 1,350 police were on the streets after the government called in reinforcements from other provinces, said a police official who declined to be named in line with policy.

Plain Clothed Cops Pin Down Rioter

Plain clothed police arrest a protester at Neptuno Square during demonstrations surrounding the Spanish Parliament on September 25, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Thirty-five people were arrested in total.
Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez | Getty Images

Plain clothed police arrest a protester at Neptuno Square during demonstrations surrounding the Spanish Parliament on September 25, 2012 in Madrid. Thirty-five people were arrested in total.

Sixty Four Injured in Madrid Protests

A riot policeman stands behind an injured protester after clashes during a demonstration organized by Spain's 'indignant' protesters to decry an economic crisis they say has 'kidnapped' democracy, on September 25, 2012 in Madrid.
Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou | AFP | Getty Images

A riot policeman stands behind an injured protester after clashes during a demonstration organized by Spain's 'indignant' protesters. They decry an economic crisis they say has 'kidnapped' democracy, on September 25, 2012 in Madrid.

Spanish Police Baton Charge Protesters

Protesters lay on the ground after riot police baton charged over them at Neptuno Square during demonstrations surrounding the Spanish Parliament on September 25, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Demonstrators from various organizations, demanding a new constitutional process, marched from three different locations in the center of Madrid to the lower house in the Spanish parliament.
Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez | Getty Images

Protesters lay on the ground after riot police charged over them at Neptuno Square during demonstrations near the Spanish Parliament on September 25, 2012, in Madrid. Demonstrators from various organizations, demanding a new constitutional process, marched from three different locations in the center of Madrid to the lower house in the Spanish parliament.