Greek police and protesters clash outside parliament ahead of crucial vote on austerity measures

It is believed that stones were thrown at police

Greek police and protesters clash outside parliament ahead of crucial vote on austerity measures

Yorgos Karahalis / AP/Press Association Images

Police and protesters in Greece clashed outside parliament in Athens this evening, ahead of a significant vote on further gruelling austerity measures.

The violent conflict ensued as MPs prepared to vote on controversial pension and tax laws that are considered the toughest reform policies that Greece has been forced to enact since the beginning of its debt crisis.

The vote was called by prime minister Alexis Tsipras, to placate eurozone finance ministers who are meeting tomorrow to discuss Greece. Lenders are expected to focus on the country’s crippling debt situation, which stands at over 180% of GDP - the largest in Europe.

They are also demanding a new set of contingency measures to ensure Athens achieves agreed fiscal targets in 2018.

Reports say that demonstrators threw stones at the police while anarchists dressed in black lobbed flaming Molotov cocktails.

 The finance minister Euclid Tskalotos, has warned of the perils involved in demanding more cuts of a nation whose economy has reduced by more than 25% in the six years since successive governments began slashing budgets in return for bailout aid.

"Nobody should believe that another Greek crisis, leading perhaps to another failed state in the region, could be beneficial to anyone. There is no way that such a package can be passed by the current government, or by any democratic government that I can imagine."