Greek protesters throw firebombs at police in Athens

Some protests turn violent in streets of Athens while most of Greece celebrates referendum results

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Immediately after the Greek bailout referendum resulted in a “No” vote, up to 150 protesters marched in Athens’ streets on Monday to protest the result.

According to police reports, at the same time as referendum celebrations were taking place nearly 150 protesters gathered in central Athens before setting trash cans on fire and throwing firebombs at policemen on early Monday.

Greek citizens overwhelmingly voted on Sunday to reject the bailout conditions demanded by Greece’s international lenders, showing a defiance that may split Europe.

Official figures show that 61 percent of Greeks dismissed the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) bailout proposals and harsh austerity measures in a nation-wide referendum.

The result could potentially deliver a massive blow to the European Union’s common currency zone and grand Euro project that was established 15 years ago, as it increases the possibility of a member of the eurozone dropping out for the first time.

Greece became the first developed nation to default on its international debt last week, failing to make a payment of $1.8 billion to the IMF after its bailout program expired at 01:00 am local time last Monday.

After the results of the recent referendum were announced, those who supported the  “no” vote gathered in front of the Greek parliament in Syntagma Square in order to show their support for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Tsipras addressed Greek citizens in a broadcast speech saying that “today we celebrate the victory of democracy. We proved even in the most difficult circumstances that democracy won't be blackmailed.”

"Given the unfavorable conditions last week, you have made a very brave choice. But I am aware that the mandate you gave me is not a mandate for rupture,” he added.

Tsipras had urged Greek citizens to vote “no” in the bailout referendum. He and his government thought that a strong sign of defiance from the Greek public to the bailout would strengthen the government's hand in negotiations.

TRTWorld and agencies