Protests turned violent in Athens on Wednesday, as Greece faced a crucial vote that would decide whether the country would accept reforms, and ultimately, the country's future in the eurozone. A demonstration erupted in chaos as petrol bombs were let off in front of the Greek Parliament and police tear-gassed the crowd.
Demonstrators threw rocks and Molotovs in Syntagma Square in the center of Athens, sending people fleeing through the smog of tear gas, reported the Guardian. The clashes began just before 9:30 p.m. as the country approached the midnight deadline. Police said about 12,500 demonstrators attended the rally at Syntagma Square, the Associated Press reported. A live stream of the protests can be seen here.
— Alwasat (@alwasatengnews) July 15, 2015
The demonstrators oppose the stringent conditions of the Greek bailout plan, which reports indicate the majority of Greek leaders are likely to accept. More than half of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' Syriza party has said they would not support the reforms.
— Nick Malkoutzis (@NickMalkoutzis) July 15, 2015
Some demonstrators awaited the results in makeshift masks, anticipating chaos, reported the Guardian. Tourists, on the other hand, were confused and asking locals why their throats hurt.
It's not looking good. This thing might blow up once the vote passes. Lots of young people with makeshift masks, police in gas masks
— Omaira Gill (@OmairaGill) July 15, 2015
"At the top end of square opposite Grande Bretagne it is impossible to cross," the Guardian's Helena Smith reported. "There is a lot of tea gas in the air, and Molotov cocktails lobbed by protesters now burning in the streets. I’m told the protesters were from anarchist groups, and the far-left anti-capitalist Antarsya."
Demonstrators also gathered at Zappeion Park, where law enforcement dealth found a media van set ablaze, reported the Guardian.
— spyros gkelis (@northaura) July 15, 2015
Greece must accept the first set of reforms Wednesday for the eurozone to begin debt relief negotiations. If the vote does not pass, a snap election could occur, reported Reuters.