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Thousands March In Greece To Protest Austerity Measures

Riot police remove student protesters during an antiausterity demonstration in Athens.
Thousands of demonstrators marched through the Greek capital on October 5 as part of a national protest strike against austerity measures imposed by the government in a bid to avoid default.

Police said 18,000 to 20,000 demonstrators marched through Athens. Government offices and public services remained shut, public transport was disrupted, and air flights were canceled.

Police fired tear gas to disperse a small group of stone-throwing youths outside parliament.

The Greek government has been in talks with international auditors assessing whether Greece has made enough progress in tackling its budget deficit to receive the next installment of bailout funds from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

On October 4, a decision by eurozone finance ministers to delay the release of the 8-billion-euro tranche increased concerns once again that the Greek government will default on its debt.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is travelling to Brussels on October 5 for talks with top EU officials at the European Commission on the eurozone debt crisis.

compiled from agency reports