May 1st, 2010
11:03 AM ET

Greeks protest austerity cuts at May Day rally

Greek protesters clashed with police who fired tear gas during the annual May Day rally on Saturday in Athens, where thousands of people gathering for the event seethed over government belt-tightening plans to deal with the country's debt problems.

Waving red flags, the crowd at times surged toward the line of police, who wore helmets and carried riot shields. The police pushed them back each time.

Protesters threw objects toward police, and scattered fires were burning on the streets. A van belonging to state broadcaster ERT was set on fire, and 19 people were taken in for questioning, a spokesman for the Greek national police told CNN.

About 12,000 people were protesting in Athens, and rallies were also taking place in the northern city of Thessaloniki, the spokesman said. Protesters there smashed two ATMs, the glass frontage of a bank, and a car, but no one was arrested or being questioned, the spokesman said.

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