BRUSSELS - Hundreds of thousands of Europe's beleaguered citizens went on strike or snarled the streets of several capitals Wednesday, at times clashing with riot police, as they demanded that governments stop cutting benefits and create more jobs.

Workers with jobs and without spoke of a "social emergency" crippling the world's largest economic bloc, a union of 27 nations and half a billion people.

The protests were met with tear gas in Italy and Spain, but were largely limited to the countries hardest hit by the austerity measures designed to bring government spending into line with revenues. Wealthier nations like Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark saw only small, sedate demonstrations.

Governments backing the line of stringent austerity were not impressed by the show of force.

"We must nevertheless do what is necessary: break open encrusted labour markets, give more people a chance to work, become more flexible in many areas," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. "We will of course make this clear, again and again, in talks with the unions."

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos spoke of "a long crisis that has meant sacrifice and uncertainty," but said: "The government is convinced that the path we have taken is the only possible way out."

To combat a three-year financial crisis over too much sovereign debt, governments across Europe have had to raise taxes and cut spending, pensions and benefits. As well as hitting workers' incomes and living standards, these measures have also led to a decline in economic output and a sharp increase in unemployment.

The zone of the 17 countries that use the euro currency is expected to fall into recession when official figures are released Thursday. Unemployment across those countries has reached a record 11.6 per cent, with Spain and Greece seeing levels above 25 per cent.

With no end in sight to Europe's economic hardship, workers were trying to take a stand on Wednesday.

"There is a social emergency in the south," said Bernadette Segol, secretary general of the European Trade Union Confederation. "All recognize that the policies carried out now are unfair and not working."

Spain's General Workers' Union said the nationwide strike — the second this year — was being observed by nearly all workers in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and construction industries. The country, reeling from austerity measures designed to prevent it from asking for a full-blown international bailout, is mired in recession with 50 per cent unemployment among its under-25s.

Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, a CCOO Spanish union leader, called Wednesday's actions "a political strike against the policies of a suicidal and anti-social government."

The Spanish strike shut down most schools, and hospitals operated with skeleton staffs. Health and education have both suffered serious spending cutbacks and increased moves toward privatization.

Frustration spilled into violence when riot police clashed with demonstrators in Madrid and other Spanish cities. By early afternoon, 82 people had been arrested and 32 people treated for minor injuries.

In Italy, protests turned violent as well, with some of the tens of thousands of students and workers clashing with riot police in several cities. Dozens of demonstrators were detained and a handful of police were injured, according to Italian news reports.

In bailed-out Portugal, where the government intends to intensify austerity measures next year, the second general strike in eight months left commuters stranded as trains ground to a virtual halt and the Lisbon subway shut down. Some 200 flights to and from Portugal — about half the daily average — were cancelled. Hospitals provided only minimum services and municipal trash was left uncollected.

Airports across Europe were forced to cancel flights to and from striking nations.

In Belgium, a 24-hour rail stoppage severely disrupted the Thalys and the Eurostar high-speed rail services — vital links that connect Brussels, London and Paris.

Philippe de Buck, chief of the EU employers' federation Eurobusiness, said the strike would cost billions of euros and hurt Europe's ability to attract investors.

"If you start striking at national level and in companies you only will harm the economy," he said. "And it is not the right thing to do today."

Europe has a long history of union action, and workers' rights and benefits have been one of the cornerstones of its welfare state, with its guaranteed medical care, generous unemployment benefits and often comfortable pensions.

The union action was not felt across the entire region, however, with countries where austerity has not hit as hard experiencing little disruption.

In Austria, which has the eurozone's lowest unemployment at 4.3 per cent, only about 350 people gathered in a central square in Vienna to express solidarity with Greece. Many danced a sirtaki, Greece's traditional dance.

"So far, there are only symbolic demonstrations here in Germany, because we were able to avoid the crisis," said Michael Sommer, the head of Germany's main labour union federation.

In Denmark, too, there were no strikes, since co-operation between workers and employers has largely survived the crisis.

"The employers speak the same language as we do and we understand each other's needs and demands," said Joergen Frederiksen, a 69-year-old retired worker and former shop steward. "There are good vibes between us and that means a lot."

___

Among the Associated Press writers contributing to this report were Ciaran Giles in Madrid; Geir Moulson in Berlin; Jan Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark; Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands; Barry Hatton in Lisbon, Portugal; Colleen Barry in Milan, Italy; and Elena Becatoros in Athens, Greece.

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  • ITALY-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EUROPE-PROTEST-LABOUR-STRIKE

    Riot policemen run after demonstrators during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. Riot police and anti-austerity protesters clashed in Italy on Wednesday as anger boiled over on a Europe-wide day of strikes and mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • ITALY-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EUROPE-PROTEST-LABOUR-STRIKE

    Demonstrators throw projectiles to riot policemen during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. Riot police and anti-austerity protesters clashed in Italy on Wednesday as anger boiled over on a Europe-wide day of strikes and mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • ITALY-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EUROPE-PROTEST-LABOUR-STRIKE

    Demonstrators and riot policemen fight during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. Riot police and anti-austerity protesters clashed in Italy on Wednesday as anger boiled over on a Europe-wide day of strikes and mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • ITALY-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EUROPE-PROTEST-STRIKE

    Riot policemen march in front of demonstrators during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. Thousands of people took to the streets of major cities including Milan and Turin and around 100 towns and cities across the country. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO,ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • ITALY-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EUROPE-PROTEST-LABOUR-STRIKE

    Riot policemen fight with demonstrators during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. Riot police and anti-austerity protesters clashed in Italy on Wednesday as anger boiled over on a Europe-wide day of strikes and mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • ITALY-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EUROPE-PROTEST-LABOUR-STRIKE

    Demonstrators throw projectiles to riot policemen during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. Riot police and anti-austerity protesters clashed in Italy on Wednesday as anger boiled over on a Europe-wide day of strikes and mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • ITALY-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EUROPE-PROTEST-LABOUR-STRIKE

    Riot policemen fight with demonstrators during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. Riot police and anti-austerity protesters clashed in Italy on Wednesday as anger boiled over on a Europe-wide day of strikes and mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • ITALY-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EUROPE-PROTEST-LABOUR-STRIKE

    Riot policemen fight with demonstrators during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. Riot police and anti-austerity protesters clashed in Italy on Wednesday as anger boiled over on a Europe-wide day of strikes and mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • ITALY-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EUROPE-PROTEST-LABOUR-STRIKE

    Demonstrators and riot policemen fight during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. Riot police and anti-austerity protesters clashed in Italy on Wednesday as anger boiled over on a Europe-wide day of strikes and mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • ITALY-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EUROPE-PROTEST-LABOUR-STRIKE

    Demonstrators and riot policemen fight during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. Riot police and anti-austerity protesters clashed in Italy on Wednesday as anger boiled over on a Europe-wide day of strikes and mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • ITALY-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EUROPE-PROTEST-LABOUR-STRIKE

    Demonstrators throw projectiles to riot policemen during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. Riot police and anti-austerity protesters clashed in Italy on Wednesday as anger boiled over on a Europe-wide day of strikes and mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • ITALY-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EUROPE-PROTEST-LABOUR-STRIKE

    Rio policemen fight with demonstrators during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. Riot police and anti-austerity protesters clashed in Italy on Wednesday as anger boiled over on a Europe-wide day of strikes and mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Riot police apprehend a protestor during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's General Workers' Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being observed by nearly all workers in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • A protestor shouts as a couple eat inside a open restaurant during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's main trade unions stage a general strike, coinciding with similar work stoppages in Portugal and Greece, to protest government-imposed austerity measures and labor reforms. The strike is the second in Spain this year. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • ITALY-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EUROPE-PROTEST-LABOUR-STRIKE

    Riot policemen fight with demonstrators during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. Riot police and anti-austerity protesters clashed in Italy on Wednesday as anger boiled over on a Europe-wide day of strikes and mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against Italian Government austerity measures in Rome, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Workers across the European Union sought to present a united front against rampant unemployment and government spending cuts Wednesday with a string of strikes and demonstrations across the region. Protesters clashed with police in various demonstrations in Rome, Milan, Turin, Padua and Brescia. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Police clash with demonstrators during a protest against Italian Government austerity measures in Rome, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Workers across the European Union sought to present a united front against rampant unemployment and government spending cuts Wednesday with a string of strikes and demonstrations across the region. Protesters clashed with police in various demonstrations in Rome, Milan, Turin, Padua and Brescia. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • ITALY-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EUROPE-PROTEST-STRIKE

    Riot policemen march in front of demonstrators during a protest on a day of mobilisation against austerity measures by workers in southern Europe on November 14, 2012 in Rome. Thousands of people took to the streets of major cities including Milan and Turin and around 100 towns and cities across the country. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO,ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Police clash with demonstrators during a protest against Italian Government austerity measures in Rome, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Workers across the European Union sought to present a united front against rampant unemployment and government spending cuts Wednesday with a string of strikes and demonstrations across the region. Protesters clashed with police in various demonstrations in Rome, Milan, Turin, Padua and Brescia. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Police clash with demonstrators during a protest against Italian Government austerity measures in Rome, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Workers across the European Union sought to present a united front against rampant unemployment and government spending cuts Wednesday with a string of strikes and demonstrations across the region. Protesters clashed with police in various demonstrations in Rome, Milan, Turin, Padua and Brescia. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Demonstrators shout against police after they are blocked near Gran Via street during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's General Workers' Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being observed by nearly all workers in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Riot police arrest a protestor during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's General Workers' Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being observed by nearly all workers in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • Protesters chant slogans during a union protest in Thessaloniki, Greece, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Workers across the European Union sought to present a united front against rampant unemployment and government spending cuts Wednesday with a string of strikes and demonstrations across the region. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

  • Riot police apprehend a protestor during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's General Workers' Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being observed by nearly all workers in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Demonstrators clash with policemen in riot gear during a protest against Italian Government austerity measures in Rome, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Workers across the European Union sought to present a united front against rampant unemployment and government spending cuts Wednesday with a string of strikes and demonstrations across the region. Protesters clashed with police in various demonstrations in Rome, Milan, Turin, Padua and Brescia. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Demonstrators clash with policemen in riot gear during a protest against Italian Government austerity measures in Rome, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Workers across the European Union sought to present a united front against rampant unemployment and government spending cuts Wednesday with a string of strikes and demonstrations across the region. Protesters clashed with police in various demonstrations in Rome, Milan, Turin, Padua and Brescia. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Worker holds placards reading " , We are all Greek, enough austerity" , during a demonstration against austerity, in Marseille, southern France, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. With rampant unemployment spreading misery in southern Europe and companies shutting factories across the continent, workers around the European Union sought to unite in a string of strikes and demonstrations on Wednesday, with strikes and protests planned in Italy, Greece, Portugal, France and Belgium. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

  • French people living in Greece shout slogans and hold a banner that reads in Greek and French: ''France Wake Up'' outside the Greek parliament during a protest in Athens, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Workers across the European Union sought to present a united front against rampant unemployment and government spending cuts Wednesday with a string of strikes and demonstrations across the region. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against Italian Government austerity measures in Rome, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Workers across the European Union sought to present a united front against rampant unemployment and government spending cuts Wednesday with a string of strikes and demonstrations across the region. Protesters clashed with police in various demonstrations in Rome, Milan, Turin, Padua and Brescia. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • A protestor lies on the ground during clashes with riot police in a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's General Workers' Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being observed by nearly all workers in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

  • A man kneels down handcuffed next to police vans after being detained by the police during a general strike in Madrid, Wednesday Nov. 14, 2012. A Spanish Interior Ministry official says 32 people have been arrested and 15 people treated for minor injuries in disturbances as a general strike in Spain against austerity measures and economic reforms began. The General Workers Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being heeded by nearly 100 percent of workers Wednesday in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries. (AP Photo/Paul White)

  • A police officer, right, is helped by a colleague after getting hurt during a general strike in Madrid, Wednesday Nov. 14, 2012. A Spanish Interior Ministry official says 32 people have been arrested and 15 people treated for minor injuries in disturbances as a general strike in Spain against austerity measures and economic reforms began. The General Workers Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being heeded by nearly 100 percent of workers Wednesday in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries. (AP Photo/Paul White)

  • Police officers try to push protesters back onto the pavement after they blocked traffic on Oxford Street, London, whilst taking part in a picket and demonstration they said was over dismissals of 28 workers employed by contractors on the Crossrail transport project, for being trade union members, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. The protest was held to coincide with planned European strikes on Wednesday in Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, France and Belgium against austerity measures and economic reforms. Crossrail, due to start running services in 2018, is a new train line that will include twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London and link 37 stations including transport hubs such as Heathrow airport with business districts including the City and Canary Wharf. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Police officers try to push protesters back onto the pavement after they blocked traffic on Oxford Street, London, whilst taking part in a picket and demonstration they said was over dismissals of 28 workers employed by contractors on the Crossrail transport project, for being trade union members, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. The protest was held to coincide with planned European strikes on Wednesday in Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, France and Belgium against austerity measures and economic reforms. Crossrail, due to start running services in 2018, is a new train line that will include twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London and link 37 stations including transport hubs such as Heathrow airport with business districts including the City and Canary Wharf. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Construction work continues as protesters take part in a picket and demonstration they said was over dismissals of 28 workers employed by contractors on the Crossrail transport project, for being trade union members, in London, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. The protest was held to coincide with planned European strikes on Wednesday in Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, France and Belgium against austerity measures and economic reforms. Crossrail, due to start running services in 2018, is a new train line that will include twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London and link 37 stations including transport hubs such as Heathrow airport with business districts including the City and Canary Wharf. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Protesters block traffic on one side of Oxford Street, London, whilst taking part in a picket and demonstration they said was over dismissals of 28 workers employed by contractors on the Crossrail transport project, for being trade union members, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. The protest was held to coincide with planned European strikes on Wednesday in Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, France and Belgium against austerity measures and economic reforms. Crossrail, due to start running services in 2018, is a new train line that will include twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London and link 37 stations including transport hubs such as Heathrow airport with business districts including the City and Canary Wharf. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • A bus passes as protesters block traffic on one side of Oxford Street, London, whilst taking part in a picket and demonstration they said was over dismissals of 28 workers employed by contractors on the Crossrail transport project, for being trade union members, Wednesday Nov. 14, 2012. The protest was held to coincide with planned European strikes on Wednesday in Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, France and Belgium against austerity measures and economic reforms. Crossrail, due to start running services in 2018, is a new train line that will include twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London and link 37 stations including transport hubs such as Heathrow airport with business districts including the City and Canary Wharf. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Police officers try to push protesters back onto the pavement after they blocked traffic on Oxford Street, London, whilst taking part in a picket and demonstration they said was over dismissals of 28 workers employed by contractors on the Crossrail transport project, for being trade union members, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. The protest was held to coincide with planned European strikes on Wednesday in Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, France and Belgium against austerity measures and economic reforms. Crossrail, due to start running services in 2018, is a new train line that will include twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London and link 37 stations including transport hubs such as Heathrow airport with business districts including the City and Canary Wharf. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Police officers try to push protesters back onto the pavement after they blocked traffic on Oxford Street, London, whilst taking part in a picket and demonstration they said was over dismissals of 28 workers employed by contractors on the Crossrail transport project, for being trade union members, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. The protest was held to coincide with planned European strikes on Wednesday in Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, France and Belgium against austerity measures and economic reforms. Crossrail, due to start running services in 2018, is a new train line that will include twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London and link 37 stations including transport hubs such as Heathrow airport with business districts including the City and Canary Wharf. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Police riots apprehend a protestor during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's General Workers' Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being observed by nearly all workers in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Riot police apprehend a protestor during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's General Workers' Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being observed by nearly all workers in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Police riots arrest a protestor during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's main trade unions stage a general strike, coinciding with similar work stoppages in Portugal and Greece, to protest government-imposed austerity measures and labor reforms. The strike is the second in Spain this year. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Police riots arrest a protestor during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's main trade unions stage a general strike, coinciding with similar work stoppages in Portugal and Greece, to protest government-imposed austerity measures and labor reforms. The strike is the second in Spain this year. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Spanish riot policemen stand in a line against the window of a bank during a general strike against government austerity measures, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. A Spanish Interior Ministry official says 32 people have been arrested and 15 people treated for minor injuries in disturbances as a general strike in Spain against austerity measures and economic reforms began. The General Workers Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being heeded by nearly 100 percent of workers Wednesday in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • A Spanish riot police officer stands beside posters that read: "14 November, General Strike" calling for a general strike against government austerity measures, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. A Spanish Interior Ministry official says 32 people have been arrested and 15 people treated for minor injuries in disturbances as a general strike in Spain against austerity measures and economic reforms began. The General Workers Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being heeded by nearly 100 percent of workers Wednesday in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

  • Police clash with protestors during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's main trade unions stage a general strike, coinciding with similar work stoppages in Portugal and Greece, to protest government-imposed austerity measures and labor reforms. The strike is the second in Spain this year. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Police clash with protestors during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's main trade unions stage a general strike, coinciding with similar work stoppages in Portugal and Greece, to protest government-imposed austerity measures and labor reforms. The strike is the second in Spain this year. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Police clash with protestors during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's main trade unions stage a general strike, coinciding with similar work stoppages in Portugal and Greece, to protest government-imposed austerity measures and labor reforms. The strike is the second in Spain this year. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Riot police arrest a protestor during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's main trade unions stage a general strike, coinciding with similar work stoppages in Portugal and Greece, to protest government-imposed austerity measures and labor reforms. The strike is the second in Spain this year. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Police clash with protestors during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Spain's main trade unions stage a general strike, coinciding with similar work stoppages in Portugal and Greece, to protest government-imposed austerity measures and labor reforms. The strike is the second in Spain this year. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Demonstrators place stickers on a window at shopping centre calling to general strike against government austerity measures, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. A Spanish Interior Ministry official says 32 people have been arrested and 15 people treated for minor injuries in disturbances as a general strike in Spain against austerity measures and economic reforms began. The General Workers Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being heeded by nearly 100 percent of workers Wednesday in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)


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  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A protester kicks a tear gas carnister away during clashes with riot police after a demonstration against new austerity measures outside the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A protester throws a petrol bomb at riot police during a demonstration against new austerity measures outside the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, . Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A protester throws a petrol bomb at riot police during a demonstration against new austerity measures outside the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, . Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Protesters clash with police near the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, during a demonstration against new austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Thousands of protesters take part in a demonstration against new austerity measures outside the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, . Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Protesters demonstrate outside the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, against the vote of the new economy austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Thousands of protesters take part in a demonstration against new austerity measures outside the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, . Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A protester protects himself near a kiosk at a street corner during clashes with riot police outside the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, during a demonstration against new austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Food vendors escape from tear gas as protesters clash with riot police near the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, during a demonstration against new austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Petrol bombs fall on riot police during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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    A protester smahes a bank sign during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Petrol bombs fall on riot police during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Petrol bombs fall on riot police during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Protesters stand in front of parliament during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A youth clashes with riot police during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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    A protester throws back a tear gas canister at police during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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    Youths prepare to throw petrol bombs at riot police during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A protester clashes with riot police during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A protester clashes with riot police during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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    People in wheelchairs protest against a new government austerity bill on the second day of a 48-hour general strike in Thessaloniki on 7 November, 2012. Greek lawmakers were locked in a fierce debate today ahead of a vote on a new austerity package needed to unlock international aid and stave off imminent bankruptcy, while facing a social unrest and public protests against billions more euros in tax hikes and pension cuts. AFP PHOTO /Sakis Mitrolidis (Photo credit should read SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-FINANCE-ECONOMY-PUBLIC-DEBT - STRIKE

    Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest against a new government austerity bill on the second day of a 48-hour general strike in Thessaloniki on 7 November, 2012. Greek lawmakers were locked in a fierce debate today ahead of a vote on a new austerity package needed to unlock international aid and stave off imminent bankruptcy, while facing a social unrest and public protests against billions more euros in tax hikes and pension cuts. AFP PHOTO /Sakis Mitrolidis (Photo credit should read SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Petrol bombs fall on riot police during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-FINANCE-ECONOMY- DEBT-STRIKE

    Demonstrators take part in a protest against new government austerity bill, in Thessaloniki on November 7, 2012, as part of a 48-hour general strike. Greek lawmakers were locked in a fierce debate on Wednesday ahead of a vote on a new austerity package needed to unlock international aid and stave off imminent bankruptcy, while facing a social unrest and public protests against billions more euros in tax hikes and pension cuts. A general strike paralysed Athens for a second straight day, while Greeks plan to mass outside parliament to voice their opposition to further sacrifices as the country heads for its sixth year in recession.AFP PHOTO /Sakis Mitrolidis (Photo credit should read SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-FINANCE-ECONOMY- DEBT-STRIKE

    Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest against new government austerity bill, in Thessaloniki on November 7, 2012, as part of a 48-hour general strike. Greek lawmakers were locked in a fierce debate on Wednesday ahead of a vote on a new austerity package needed to unlock international aid and stave off imminent bankruptcy, while facing a social unrest and public protests against billions more euros in tax hikes and pension cuts. A general strike paralysed Athens for a second straight day, while Greeks plan to mass outside parliament to voice their opposition to further sacrifices as the country heads for its sixth year in recession.AFP PHOTO /Sakis Mitrolidis (Photo credit should read SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Protesters advance amid tear gas near the parliament during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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    A protester with a Guy Fawkes mask stands in front of riot police near the Greek parliament during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Protesters run away from tear gas near the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, during a demonstration against new austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A protester throws a petrol bomb as demonstrators clash with riot police outside the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, during a demonstration against new austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A protester with a Guy Fawkes mask holding a Greek flag stands in front of riot police near the parliament during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Protesters run away from tear gas near the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, during a demonstration against new austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A man holding a Greek flag runs away from clashes between protesters and riot police outside the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, during a demonstration against new austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Protesters walk amid tear gas near the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, during a demonstration against new austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Protesters run away from tear gas near the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, during a demonstration against new austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Protesters run away from tear gas near the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, during a demonstration against new austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Protesters clash with riot police outside the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, during a demonstration against new austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A protester throws a petrol bomb as demonstrators clash with riot police outside the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, during a demonstration against new austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A protester gestures in front of the Greek parliment during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Petrol bombs fall on riot police during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Petrol bombs fall on riot police during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A protester kicks away a tear gas canister during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Protesters stand in front of parliament during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    Protesters clash with riot police outside the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, during a demonstration against new austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A protester throws a petrol bomb as demonstrators clash with riot police outside the parliament in Athens on November 7, 2012, during a demonstration against new austerity measures. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-PROTEST-ECONOMY-STRIKE-DEMO

    A protester kicks a tear gas canister during a demonstration marking the second day of the 48-hours strike against new austerity measures, in Athens on November 7, 2012. Greek police today used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting outside parliament ahead of a key vote on a new round of austerity measures. Some protestors responded by hurling petrol bombs at police forces as the demonstration by some 70,000 people in Athens briefly flared up, an AFP correspondent reported. AFP PHOTO/ ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)