Feb.20 - Greek police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators in Athens as tens of thousands of striking workers marched to parliament to protest austerity measures. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) Groups of youths hurled rocks and petrol bombs at police officers who responded with tear gas during a brief confrontation just as the large demonstration was coming to an end. Since the government implemented the austerity program in 2010 to clean up the indebted economy, Greece has been riddled with strikes and protests that have often ended in violence, sometimes deadly. The government has increased taxes, cut jobs, wages and pensions, exacerbating a recession with the chain effect of causing thousands of businesses to force to close. Unemployment has reached 27 percent, and poverty 20 percent. One man was wounded during the protest and taken away by an ambulance but it is unclear how he was wounded. Representing 2.5 million workers, the unions have gone on strike repeatedly since a debt crisis erupted in late 2009, testing the government's will to impose the painful conditions of an international bailout in the face of growing public anger.