9:17am

Wed October 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Clashes In Streets Reported As Greeks Protest Austerity Measures

"Greek riot police have fired tear gas and fought running battles with protesters, amid a 48-hour general strike that has paralyzed the country," the BBC reports.

It adds that: "Tens of thousands are out on the streets of Athens to protest against the government's austerity measures. Some protesters have been hurling smoke bombs and stones at the police."

CNN says "the violence broke out around lunchtime in one corner of the square, beside Parliament House, as a group of protesters dressed mostly in black threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police. Officers fired stun grenades, tear gas and 'flash bangs' in return, sending noisy detonations echoing round the square."

On Morning Edition earlier today, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli told host Renee Montagne that while in the past Greeks might have been upset with garbage collectors and other workers for going on strike — "today, even though the Health Ministry has warned of the dangers for public health, there's a very strong sense of solidarity with the garbage collectors."

Greek lawmakers are to vote Thursday on an austerity package. Meanwhile, Sylvia said, European leaders continue to "send mixed signals" on just what they're going to do to tackle the Greek — and Eurozone — debt woes.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.