Black-clad youths throw stones and petrol bombs at police who fire tear gas and stun grenades in response during a mass rally in Athens against government pension reforms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Police fired tear gas during a mass rally in Athens on Thursday (February 4) as Greeks rallied against government pension reforms needed to meet demands of international creditors. Demanding an end to austerity, about 50,000 Greeks marched on parliament in central Athens. Breaking away from the main block of demonstrators, black-clad youths threw stones and petrol bombs at police, who responded with rounds of tear gas and stun grenades. The angry backlash is piling pressure on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, first elected just over a year ago. With just a three-seat majority in parliament, he is stuck between either pushing the reforms through to appease international creditors, or attracting the wrath of thousands of Greeks. Dozens of domestic flights were grounded, ferries remained docked in ports and most public transport was paralyzed as part of the strike organized by Greece's main labour unions, private sector union GSEE and public sector union ADEDY took hold. It was the second nationwide walkout since Tsipras took power in January 2015 on a pledge to end years of austerity. But he caved in under the threat of expulsion from the euro zone and signed up to new belt-tightening reforms under an EU-IMF bailout package worth up to 86 billion euros.