Greek police fired tear gas to disperse anti-austerity protesters hurling petrol bombs in central Athens on Thursday.
Thousands were on the streets in the Greek capital, according to Reuters, to protest against austerity measures imposed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The news agency reported that flights were grounded, hospitals were running on skeleton staff and ships were docked at port.
A Reuters witness saw riot police fire tear gas at dozens of black-clad youths who broke off from the march to hurl petrol bombs and stones and smash shop windows near the parliament building. Some bombs struck the frontage of the Greek central bank and police sources said three people were detained before order was restored, according to Reuters.
It was the first nationwide strike called by Greece's main public and private sector unions since leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras came to power in January.
This protest saw angry Greeks rallying against their former ally in their fight against Greece's international creditors. The country's embattled left-wing prime minister is facing his first 24-hour strike in office.
In a symbolic move to show that things had changed, one of Tsipras's first acts on becoming prime minister in January was to remove the crowd-control barriers in front of parliament designed to protect MPs from protesters. Now even his own party's workers' committee had called on members to take action and participate in Thursday's protest.
In an action-packed year for the struggling euro zone nation, it held a contentious Greek referendum, received a third 86 billion euro ($92 billion) bailout and also saw snap elections. However, further austerity measures are still required to release much-needed funds to keep the Greek economy afloat.