Police clashed with demonstrators outside the Greek parliament building on Thursday evening as lawmakers approved a bill which aims to regulate demonstrations.
A group of protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at riot police while police responded with tear gas and flash grenades.
Around 10,000 peaceful protesters had gathered in central Athens, most supporting PAME, the union backed by the Greek Communist Party.
A separate group of several dozen youths was involved in the violence, which sent other demonstrators, including families with young children, scrambling to move away from the clouds of tear gas.
— Savvas Karmaniolas (@savvaskarma) July 9, 2020
The bill was overwhelmingly approved, with 187 votes for and 101 against it.
Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that the bill “protects the citizens’ freedom of public expression; it protects it from both state authoritarianism and from the threat that this right will be usurped by those who oppose normalcy.”
“The right to hold peaceful gatherings must be protected … but it must be done in a way that will not interrupt the activity of an entire city,” Mitsotakis added.
Leader of main opposition Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, accused the government of “attempting a reactionary institutional change that targets democracy, the constitutionally established right to demonstrate, to assemble, to protest, that no previous government has even conceived in the post-dictatorship era.”