Greeks clash with police over austerity measures

City A.M. Reporter
Greek police fired tear gas at protesters as 25,000 people filled the Athens streets yesterday to voice their anger at the scale of cuts imposed by the Prime Minister George Papandreou government.
Youths threw stones and smashed shop windows, police said.

Greece’s national debt is four times higher than EU rules allow, and the government has pledged to cut the €300bn (£259bn) national deficit by four percentage points to 8.7 per cent this year. The government plans to freeze public sector salaries, raise the average retirement age to 63 by 2015, and increase taxes on petrol, alcohol and tobacco.

Meanwhile, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s threatened to downgrade Greece’s long-term credit rating to BBB-, one level above junk status.