Molotov cocktails flew and pepper spray was in the air after the Greek parliament voted Thursday to pass tough austerity reforms in order to ensure yet another bailout from the International Monetary Fund and European lenders.
Police reported that 12,500 people came to the rally at Syntagma Square, many in protest of the measure after it passed with 229 legislators in favor and 38 who abstained or voted against austerity, Aljazeera reported. Police used pepper spray and tear gas to combat the rioters, some of whom were throwing molotov cocktails.
Riot police guard near an anti-austerity protest in Athens, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that he disagrees with the measures, but that it is the only was to receive bailout money from the rest of Europe, Al Jazeera reported.
"We don't believe in it, but we are forced to adopt it," Tsipras said.
European partners demanded the measures be passed before they would begin discussing a new multibillion euro bailout, Al Jazeera reported. On Monday, the terms were established after 17 hours of discussion which concluded with European partners demanding that the debt-plagued country pass stricter measures to cut spending and raise taxes in exchange for the bailout, ABC Australia reported.
After Greek banks had been closed for almost two weeks, some people were worried the money would run out without support from the European Central Bank, ABC Australia reported.