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Greek Police Fire Tear Gas as Strike Overshadows Budget Vote

Greek police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the center of Athens as labor unions shut down government services before a vote on austerity measures that may determine if the nation can avoid a default.

Lawmakers debated Prime Minister George Papandreou’s five-year plan of budget cuts and asset sales for a second day before a vote tomorrow at 2 p.m. Athens time. A crowd estimated by police to number 20,000 thronged outside Parliament in protests that descended into violence as riot police fired tear gas in battles with hooded youths who smashed windows at a McDonald’s Corp restaurant and set two vans on fire.