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Greece erupts in riots after austerity vote

Protesters pass by a burning cinema in Athens, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012. Riots engulfed central Athens and at least 10 buildings went up in flames in mass protests late Sunday as lawmakers prepared for a historic parliamentary vote on harsh austerity measures demanded to keep the country solvent and within the eurozone. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)
February 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Protests in Greece quickly became riots after lawmakers there approved harsh new austerity measures.

Over 100,000 protestors marched to the parliament on Sunday ahead of the vote. Rioters destroyed or seriously damaged 93 buildings, and at least 45 buildings were burned. More than 120 people were hurt in Athens alone.

"Criminals targeted all that was best in the city of Athens, its neoclassical monuments," said the Conservatives' cultural policy chief. "The damage must be swiftly redressed and the city's memory restored."

Police arrested at least 74 people and detained a further 92, while in several cases they had to escort fire crews to burning buildings after protesters prevented access.

The new measures include eliminating one in five civil service jobs over the next three years and slashing the minimum wage.

But the vote paves the way for Greece's creditors to release $172 billion in new rescue loans to the country.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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