Central Banks
1 / 13    

Riots at the European Central Bank

German riot police officers clash with a protestor (3L) outside the new European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters during riots in Frankfurt March 18, 2015. Thousands of anti-capitalist protesters clashed with riot police near the new headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt on Wednesday, hours before the ceremonial opening of the 1.3-billion-euro ($1.4-billion) building.

» more from Central Banks

Riots at the European Central Bank

Rising tensions from anti-austerity moves in Europe came to a head when thousands of protesters rioted at the opening of the new European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.

Cars were set on fire and dozens of people were injured, including police officers.

Tensions have been high surrounding policies by the ECB, which is trying to revive Europe's sagging economy. A bailout plan for Greece has led to sharp exchanges between the Greek and German governments.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi defended ECB policies at the opening ceremony, while protest organizers told Reuters reporters that Greece was being "asphyxiated" by belt-tightening austerity.

Click ahead to see scenes of the confrontations, and see more video coverage here.

—By CNBC's Anita Balakrishnan
Posted 18 March 2015

Kai Pfaffenbach | Reuters