Athens Police Fire Tear Gas

Petros Karadjias / AP Photo

Any hopes that a 48-hour general strike in Greece would go peacefully have already disappeared. As Greek youths take to the street for protests against government austerity measures, police have begun firing tear gas as demonstrators armed with rocks and setting fire to trash bins. The protests precede key votes in parliament later this week on austerity measures that are a condition of a bailout package from the EU and IMF. Around 5,000 police are in the streets of Athens, the capital, contending with a crowd of around 20,000 youths in front of parliament. Although the morning went down without a hitch, several officers were reported to have been injured by flying rocks after the afternoon took a violent turn.