Oct. 9 - Greek protesters try to tear down barricades outside parliament as German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets political leaders. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: Violent clashes broke out in Athens on Tuesday (October 9) during a protest by workers, students, and unions as German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Many Greeks blame Germany for the strict austerity measures their government has been forced to pursue. Police could be seen detaining protesters in the crowds, as they tried to tear down a barricade outside parliament. Protesters also threw rocks and paint at police who responded with tear gas and pepper spray. Merkel's visit marks a gesture of support for the ruling coalition under Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, a fellow conservative, as he struggles to impose more cuts on a society fraying at the edges after five years of crippling recession, and after a litany of stalled reforms under the previous administrations. Greece is locked in talks with the troika - inspectors of the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund - on yet more cuts to secure the next tranche of a 130-billion-euro loan package, its second bailout since 2010. Without the 31.5-billion-euro tranche, Greece says it will run out of money by the end of November. The cuts, estimated at nearly 12 billion euros, are expected to include wage and pension reductions - the third since the austerity program began in 2010 - tax increases, and cuts to defense and health spending. But many Greeks say they cannot take much more of cuts, which has reduced their standard of living, caused job losses which raised unemployment to 24 percent, and deepened the five year recession.