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Greek President: country “on the brink of the abyss”

Proposed austerity measures spark violent clashes between protestors and police.

May 6, 2010 12:49 by

Greece’s President Karolos Papoulias urged his countrymen to take responsibility for the civil unrest that has led to three deaths and days of rioting and violence. Papoulias said that the country is “on the brink of the abyss,” the BBC reported Thursday.

Three bank employees suffocated inside the Marfin bank branch in Athens, when they were unable to escape the premises after a petrol bomb was thrown.

The announcement earlier of austerity measures designed to address the country’s financial crisis, sparked a third general strike and public protests that devolved into violence, including petrol bombs hurled at police.

Proposed measures include cuts to public sector pay rises, pensions, and retirement benefits, as well as rises in fuel and alcohol taxes.

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