Greek protestors occupy finance ministry

ATHENS: Hundreds of communists from Greece's All-Workers Militant Front on Thursday staged a sit-in at the finance ministry to protest against austerity measures announced by the government.

Around 300 protestors pushed their way past a lone guard early Thursday to gain access to the building and unfurl a banner urging Greeks to "rise up" and thwart the draconian debt-reduction measures.

Some activists also blocked employees from entering the building.

Greece on Wednesday launched a fresh round of austerity measures aimed at reassuring markets and winning crucial European support that analysts say could come soon. Related article: ECB meets on Greek finance crisis

The Socialist government increased sales, tobacco and alcohol taxes and cut public sector holiday allowances to save 4.8 billion euros (6.5 billion dollars), equal to about two percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Pensions in the public and private sector were also frozen.