ATHENS, Oct.18 (Xinhua) -- Minor scuffles between anti-austerity protesters and police forces erupted on Thursday in central Athens in front of the parliament building during a mass demonstration organized by labor unions.
Groups of hooded youth attacked with rocks and petrol bombs police officers who responded by firing tear gas, as Greece was gripped by a fresh 24-hour nationwide general strike.
No injuries have so far been reported. Police has detained several young people, according to local media.
Tension briefly rose amongst owners of private stores as well, according to media reports. Groups of striking businessmen who joined Thursday's strike and demonstration organized by the two main unions of private and public sector employees, GSEE and ADEDY, scuffled with fellow entrepreneurs who opted to keep their stores open.
The mobilization coincides with a European Union summit in Brussels and the Greek government's efforts to seal a new austerity package this autumn in return for fresh vital EU/International Monetary Fund rescue loans to avert a bankruptcy and possible exit from the eurozone which would destabilize the global financial system.