12 SEP 2010
Channel News Asia
THESSALONIKI, Greece: Greek authorities braced on Saturday for trouble in the northern city of Thessaloniki where separate waves of protests were due as the prime minister prepared to defend his austerity drive.
Some 4,000 police including backup from Athens and other cities have enforced a security clampdown in the city ahead of a keynote speech by Prime Minister George Papandreou on his policy priorities in coming months.
A tense atmosphere reigned on the streets of Greece's second city as unions got ready to lead the main protest -- one of five demonstrations -- and one person was arrested for trying to throw a shoe at Papandreou.
Unions accuse Papandreou's Socialist government of seeking to "overthrow" worker rights on top of a spate of wage and pension cuts enacted earlier this year as the country faced default on its debts.
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