Syntagma Square, the centre of Greek political life, erupted into riots on Wednesday night.
The parliament at the top of the square was in session, with Greece’s 300 MPs voting on reforms required by the bailout deal on offer from its European creditors.
The politicians voted overwhelmingly in favour of the reforms, despite the fact that a similar severe bailout deal was rejected less than two weeks ago by the Greek population in a referendum. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a lot of people who’d campaigned against the deal were angry.
Though riots were common in Athens during the euro crisis, this was the biggest display of public violence that we’ve seen over the current bailout.
Syntagma Square, the focal point of Greek politics, burst into flames last night as the country's parliament voted on a painful series of austerity and reform measures.
The vote was necessary to access bailout cash, which is the country's only hope for staying in the euro and reopening its banks any time soon.
The protest began peacefully, with activists gathering to oppose the bailout deal -- many are willing to accept leaving the eurozone to do so.
But that's not what the majority of Greek people think -- the overwhelming majority want to stay in the single currency.
Rioters threw petrol bombs at the police, mimicking scenes that were much more common during the euro crisis in 2010-12.
With a radical left-wing government in place, violent anger has been more subdued in the last six months, even with the turmoil of the bailout negotiations.
Greek MPs voted 229 to 64 in favour of the deal. Many of the opposition parties had backed a Yes vote in the previous bailout referendum.
The vote came less than two weeks after the national referendum, in which voters rejected a bailout with strict reform and austerity conditions by more than 60%.
The referendum had seen major rallies for both the Yes and No camps, but there were barely any clashes with police before the vote.
Most of the people who marched to Syntagma Square dissipated by the time the police fired tear gas into the crowd.
Athens riot police seem to be ever-present at demonstrations, lingering just metres out of sight from the main protest.
Some demonstrators stayed at the top of the square, nearest to the parliament where the vote was actually going ahead.
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