Greece Passes Austerity Bill As Riots Spread
World markets have reacted positively after the Greek parliament approved spending cuts aimed at securing a second bailout.
Before the parliamentary vote, violence broke out in the capital and spread to other towns and cities.
Buildings including a cinema and a bank were set on fire and shops were smashed up as masked rioters fought police.
Dozens of officers and protesters were injured, while more than 20 suspected rioters were arrested.
It happened after more than 100,000 protesters marched to parliament to demand a vote against the latest cuts.
Sky News Europe correspondent Robert Nisbet said: "The Greek people have been suffering, there is no doubt about that.
"You just have to look at some of the figures. Unemployment here is running at well over 20% and if you look at 15 to 24-year-olds half are now unemployed, pensions have been cut drastically and public sector workers have been sacked.
"But now this austerity package has been passed there is going to be even more pain - 150,000 further public sector workers are going to be made redundant, 15,000 this year, and the munimum wage cut by 22%."
Stock markets rose following the news, with Britain's FTSE 100 up by 0.8% in early trading and Germany's DAX up 0.6%. Asian stocks also chalked up gains.
Eurozone finance ministers will meet in Brussels on Wednesday to decide whether Greece has done enough to warrant the 130bn euro (£109bn) bailout.
Should it be given the green light, private sector bond-holders will reportedly announce a Greek debt swap deal immediately after those talks.
Sources familiar with the talks have told Reuters that it would amount to a haircut of 70% on their Greek bonds - essentially saving Greece up to 100bn euros (£84bn).
Before Sunday's vote, Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos denounced the riots as he urged parliament to help the country avoid bankruptcy.
"Vandalism, violence and destruction have no place in a democratic country and won't be tolerated," he said.
State TV reported violence had also broken out in Heraklion, the capital of Crete, as well as the towns of Volos and Agrinio in central Greece.
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos warned that the alternative to the bill, bankruptcy and a possible exit from the eurozone, would be much worse.
"The choice is not between sacrifice and no sacrifices at all, but between sacrifices and unimaginably harsher ones," he told parliament.
MPs voted 199-74 in favour of the cuts with opposition coming from members of the two main coalition parties.
Forty-three politicians from the majority Socialists and conservative New Democracy refused to back the measures. They were immediately expelled by their parties.
Greece needs the latest bailout before March 20 to meet debt repayments of 14.5bn euros, or suffer a chaotic default which could shake the entire eurozone.
It hopes to combine the bailout with a massive bond swap to write off half the country's privately held debt.