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26 Sep 2012 14:00 GMT
A day-long general strike was called in Greece on September 26 as protests erupted against a new round of sweeping austerity cuts to be brought in next month to unlock bailout loans. Above, a view of the abandoned main Athens train station.
The ancient site of Hadrian\(***)s Library was closed to visitors during the general strike. Flights and trains were suspended, shops pulled down their shutters, and hospitals worked on emergency staff on Wednesday in Greece\(***)s first big anti-austerity strike since a coalition government took power in June.
The strike action brought the country to a standstill, disrupting flights, confining ferries to ports, halting train services and shutting down the Greek public sector, including museums.
Union members affiliated with the Greek Communist party marched in front of the parliament against the measures, which would implement 11.5bn euros ($14.87bn) in spending cuts.
Athens\(***) central Syntagma Square, directly in front of parliament, was jam-packed with demonstrators.
The Athens demonstrations at times turned violent: above, riot police found themselves engulfed in flames.
Anti-austerity protests roiled Spain, too: on September 25, demonstrators gathered in Madrid\(***)s Neptuno Square near the Spanish parliament.
The Spanish government\(***)s 2013 budget will cut social services as the country teeters on the brink of a bailout. Above, riot police clashed with protesters close to Spain\(***)s parliament during a demonstration in Madrid.
Thousands of Spaniards angry at sky-high levels of unemployment - especially among young people - participated in the protests.
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