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Athens in Flames

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Over the weekend, more than 45 buildings across Athens were set ablaze by violent protesters. The fires began as the Greek Parliament passed a strict package of austerity measures, in an effort to meet demands by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The measures, which were prerequisites for a $170 billion bailout, included steep public-sector job cuts and a 20 percent reduction in the minimum wage. More than 80,000 Greeks reportedly demonstrated in the streets of Athens -- among them, a small, violent group that hurled firebombs at riot police and set dozens of fires. More than 120 police and protesters were injured. The next step for the new austerity measures is implementation, and that may face strong opposition as well. Collected here are scenes from a weekend of unrest in Athens. [36 photos]

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Riot policemen stand guard as petrol bombs explode in front of them during clashes with protesters outside the Greek parliament in Athens, Greece, on February 12, 2012. Greek police fired tear gas at petrol bomb-throwing protesters outside parliament, where tens of thousands had massed in a rally against austerity plans being debated by lawmakers. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)
Riot policemen stand guard as petrol bombs explode in front of them during clashes with protesters outside the Greek parliament in Athens, Greece, on February 12, 2012. Greek police fired tear gas at petrol bomb-throwing protesters outside parliament, where tens of thousands had massed in a rally against austerity plans being debated by lawmakers. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)
Thousands of people take part in an anti-austerity demonstration in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) square, on February 12, 2012. Greek lawmakers looked set to endorse a new and deeply unpopular austerity deal on Sunday to secure a multi-billion-euro bailout and avert what Prime Minister Lucas Papademos warned would be "economic chaos." (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #
Greek communist party members wave party's flags after hanging banners in Greek and English denouncing EU policies under the temple of Parthenon at the Acropolis, on Saturday February 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #
A Greek flag is waved while thousands of people take part in an anti-austerity demonstration in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) Square, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Panayiotis Tzamaros) #
A protester gestures at riot police during clashes outside the Greek parliament in Athens, on February 12, 2012. Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in the square outside Parliament as a parliamentary debate began, with more arriving constantly. As the crowds grew, a few hundred anarchists started to throw bottles and firebombs at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #
A protester throws a petrol bomb toward riot police during clashes in Athens, on Friday, February 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #
Riot police detain a protester during a 48-hour general strike in Athens, on February 10, 2012. Greek protesters threw stones and firebombs at riot police who responded with tear gas in Athens on February 10 as clashes erupted on the sidelines of a protest against new austerity cuts. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images) #
Protesters clash with riot police in Athens, on February 12, 2012. Protesters and police fought running battles in central Athens Sunday, as Greek lawmakers debated legislation that would introduce severe austerity measures to stave off bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #
Demonstrators protect themselves from tear gas during violent protests in central Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) #
A protester runs away from police during a violent anti-austerity demonstration in central Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #
Protesters hurl fireworks at riot policemen during clashes in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #
A petrol bomb explodes among riot police during a huge anti-austerity demonstration in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) square, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #
Green laser pointers are aimed at riot police by demonstrators during violent protests in central Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yiorgos Karahalis) #
Riot police (not pictured) push protesters back near the ancient Temple of Zeus (background, illuminated), during clashes in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #
A riot police officer tries to extinguish flames from a petrol bomb thrown by protesters outside the Greek parliament in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #
A riot policeman tries to protect himself from a petrol bomb during a huge anti-austerity demonstration in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) square, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yiorgos Karahalis) #
A man rides his bicycle past a burning building in Athens during massive clashes on February 12, 2012. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images) #
Police clash with protesters in the street during a demonstration against the new austerity measures on February 12, 2012 in Athens, Greece. (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) #
A riot policeman protects himself during riots around Syntagma square in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yiorgos Karahalis) #
Burning buildings around Syntagma (Constitution) square, during violent protests in central Athens, on February 12, 2012. Historic cinemas, cafes and shops went up in flames in central Athens on Sunday as black-masked protesters fought Greek police outside parliament, while inside lawmakers looked set to defy the public rage by endorsing a new EU/IMF austerity deal. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #
A protester wearing a gas mask stands next to a burning bus ticket kiosk in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #
A building on Stadiou Street is engulfed in flames during the demonstration against the new austerity measures in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Vladimir Rys/Getty Images) #
Policemen stand in front of a burning building following violent anti-austerity protests in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Panayiotis Tzamaros) #
A demonstrator holds a traffic sign during clashes between protesters and riot police near the Greek parliament in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images) #
A protester injured by policemen, during violent protests in central Athens February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #
Demonstrators throw firebombs at riot police during violent protests in central Athens, on February 12, 2012. (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) #
A petrol bomb explodes near riot police during an anti-austerity demonstration in Athens' Syntagma Square, on February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yiorgos Karahalis) #
A fireman tries to extinguish a burning cinema in Athens, on February 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #
A fireman tries to extinguish a fire burning inside a cinema in Athens February 12, 2012. (Reuters/Yannis Behrakis) #
Debris burns in the middle of the street during the demonstration against the new austerity measures on February 12, 2012 in Athens, Greece. (Vladimir Rys/Getty Images) #
A firefighter extinguishes the last of a fire in a smouldering building in central Athens, on Monday February 13, 2012. Firefighters are dousing smoldering structures and cleanup crews are sweeping rubble following a night of rioting in central Athens after lawmakers approved harsh new austerity measures demanded by bailout creditors to save the debt-crippled nation from bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) #
Workers clear a burned out cafe in central Athens, on Monday February 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) #
A firefighter extinguishes the charred remains of one of the capital's oldest restored cinemas in central Athens, on Monday February 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #
A man walks past the Bank of Greece headquarters with the plaque altered to read "Bank of Berlin", in Athens, on February 13, 2012. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images) #
A shopkeeper cleans up her damaged shop the morning after violent protests took place against the Government's austerity plans in Athens, on February 13, 2012. (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) #
A burn-out building in central Athens, after violent protests the night before, seen on February 13, 2012. Global markets began climb after Greek lawmakers approved radical budget cuts vital to secure a 130 billion euro rescue package aimed at averting bankruptcy. According to official figures, 45 buildings were wholly or partly destroyed by fire as violence erupted during demonstrations. (Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images) #

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