Greece general strike
Protesters from the Communist-affiliated trade union PAME take part in an anti-austerity demonstration during a 24-hour general strike in front of the parliament building in AthensReuters

Greek riot police has fired tear gas to disperse anti-austerity protesters who were throwing Molotov cocktails at them in central Athens' Syntagma Square on 12 November.

The clashes took place during a huge public and private sector demonstration to protest against European Union and International Monetary Fund-imposed austerity measures in the first nationwide strike called by unions since leftist prime minister Alexis Tsipras came to power in January, before resigning from his post later in the year and being reinstated in September.

About 24,000 people took to the Athens street in three separate, and largely peaceful, protest marches as part of the general strike, which grounded many flights, shut down hospitals and docked ships at port.

The Syriza-led coalition legislated its second austerity bill, which includes another round of tax increases and pension cutback, in October in exchange for a bailout tranche of €2bn (£1.4bn, $2.1bn).

"My salary is not enough to cover even my basic needs. My students are starving," protesting teacher Dimitris Nomikos, 52, told Reuters. "They are destroying the social security system ... I don't know if we will ever see our pensions."

The strike will be the people's "response to the dogmatic insistence in dead-end and destructive policies that have squeezed out workers and have led young people to lose hope", private sector union GSEE said in a statement.

Strangely enough, the strike is supported by the prime minister's own Syriza party, which called for "mass participation" and said it was determined to continue the fight against "anti-social, extreme neoliberal policies". The bailout review talks with the EU and IMF inspectors resumed on 11 November.