Published on Monday, February 13, 2012
Violence broke out in Greece at the weekend as the parliament voted in favour of a controversial package of austerity measures.
Police fired tear gas and several buildings were set on fire in Athens as tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets. Violent protests also spread to other Greek towns and cities including Corfu and Crete, according to Reuters.
Prime Minister Lucas Papademos urged calm, saying violence had no place in a democracy.
The Foreign Office website urged British nationals to avoid large crowds and demonstrations and keep an eye on local media reporting.
It said: "Exercise extreme caution around public demonstrations and protests in major urban centres. Violent incidents have occurred at and in the margins of such protests. Tear gas can be used."
The vote, which found 199 votes in favour and 74 MPs voting against, agreed the measures which had been demanded by the Eurozone in return for a £110 billion EU bailout.
The austerity measures include 15,000 public-sector job cuts, liberalisation of labour laws, lowering the minimum wage by 20% from 751 euros a month to 600 euros, negotiating a debt write-off with banks.
The violence will come as a further blow to Greek tourism as hotel prices in Greece are already reportedly dropping by as much as 20% this year, according to TripAdvisor, see previous story.
By Diane Evans
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