Clashes between supporters of the anti-capitalist "Blockupy" movement and police continued in Frankfurt on Wednesday 18 March as thousands of mostly young people descended on Germany's financial capital.

The protests coincide with the inauguration later in the day of the European Central Bank's new headquarters, with Blockupy supporters blaming the ECB's austerity measures for poverty in several European countries.

Frankfurt police were seen hosing down several cars on fire, among them police cars.

Tyres and rubbish bins were set alight and police responded with water cannon as firefighters complained they were unable to get to the fires to put them out.

The ECB's inauguration with the bank's president, Mario Draghi, was scheduled for 10.00am (GMT).

Protesters have planned a final rally in Frankfurt's Roemerberg square for 1.00pm, with around 10,000 participants expected to attend.

Police set up a cordon of barbed wire outside the bank's new 600ft double-tower skyscraper, next to the River Main.

But hopes of a peaceful rally were dashed as clashes began early on Wednesday.