Oct. 19 - Greece shuts down as thousands of angry demonstrators protest a new austerity bill, ahead of a parliamentary austerity vote and crucial EU summit. Kirsty Basset reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Greek demonstrators take out their anger on police outside parliament. Tossing molotov cocktails, firecrackers and stones, they're staging a 48 hour long strike - protesting a new bill that proposes more painful economic reforms. Inside parliament, politicians were fighting their own battles. Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos is trying to persuade the ruling party it's their duty to vote for the controversial measures. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK FINANCE MINISTER EVAGELOS VENIZELOS, SAYING: "We have to explain to the citizens, to these people that have given us the mandate to operate in their name, that unfortunately it is absolutely necessary to have to live through this phase in order to avoid a worse phase." European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was keen to send Greeks a message that the E.U. is working hard to help the country out of crisis. (SOUNDBITE)(English) EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT, JOSE MANUEL BARROSO, SAYING: "We are doing everything we can to mobilise growth enhancing measures so that at least there is a hope that Greece can come back to growth in the future. Some of these transition phase's measures are unavoidable." The Greek parliament will vote on the austerity bill late Wednesday. Market analysts will be watching to see what happens. Head of Interest Rates Strategy at Nomura, Laurent Bilke. (SOUNDBITE)(English) HEAD OF INTEREST RATES STRATEGY, NOMURA, LAURENT BILKE SAYING: "We know that a number of voices within the government's majority have expressed concerns against some elements of the structural agenda. So I think it is a very important and critical vote. The government's majority is very small at the moment so each vote will count." Euro zone leaders will discuss further aid for Greece this weekend. While German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned the summit won't generate a one-off solution to the debt crisis, the euro rose on hopes that European leaders will make some progress in shoring up Europe's banks and coming up with a plan to reduce Greece's growing mountain of debt. Kirsty Basset, Reuters