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Milos Bicanski

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Another year has come and gone and with it hundreds of thousands of images have recorded the world's evolving history; moments in individual lives; the weather and it's affects on the planet; acts of humanity and tragedies brought by man and by nature. The following is a compilation - not meant to be comprehensive in any way - of images from the first 4 months of 2012. Parts II and III to follow this week. -- Paula Nelson ( 64 photos total)
Fireworks light up the skyline and Big Ben just after midnight, January 1, 2012 in London, England. Thousands of people lined the banks of the River Thames in central London to ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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The best photos of 2011 from around the globe. Warning: All images in this entry are shown in full, not screened out for graphic content. Some images contain dead bodies, graphic content and tragic events. We consider these images an important part of human history.

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Your rating: None

The best photos of 2011 from around the globe. Warning: All images in this entry are shown in full, not screened out for graphic content. Some images contain dead bodies, graphic content and tragic events. We consider these images an important part of human history.

0
Your rating: None

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Clashes broke out this week between riot police and protesters outside the Greek Parliament where deputies are about to vote on a crucial austerity bill.

Riot police fired volleys of tear gas to push back protesters trying to overturn barriers, while the demonstrators pelted police with bottles and trash.

Greek deputies are set to back more austerity measures today as thousands of protesters vented their anger against a bill that has to be passed for the country to get crucial bailout funds and avoid a devastating default on its debts.

 Greece Crisis

1

A fire bomb explodes as riot police officers run to avoid the fire during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed to avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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A woman run next to riot police to avoid riots at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

 Greece Crisis

3

Protesters run away from tear gas at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #

 Greece Crisis

4

Protesters run away from tear gas at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #

 Greece Crisis

5

Riot policemen arrest a protester during clashes in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011.Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining is Greece can avoid a potentially disastrous financial default in the coming weeks .(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

 Greece Crisis

6

Protesters take cover from tear gas at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

 Greece Crisis

7

Riot police clash with protesters in Syntagma square, central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece's lawmakers approved a key austerity bill Wednesday needed to avert default next month, despite a second day of rioting on the streets of Athens that left dozens of police and protesters injured. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

 Greece Crisis

8

Protesters take cover from tear gas at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

 Greece Crisis

9

A demonstrator faces riot police during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo) #

 Greece Crisis

10

Demonstrators stands in front of riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Angelos Tzortzinis #

 Greece Crisis

11

A Greek Orthodox priest drives his buggy next to riot police during clashes in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining is Greece can avoid a potentially disastrous financial default in the coming weeks .(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

 Greece Crisis

12

Protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011. in Athens Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Angelos Tzortzinis #

 Greece Crisis

13

A tourist crosses the street as protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Alkis Konstantinidis #

 Greece Crisis

14

A man tends to a wounded protester lying on a street during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Alkis Konstantinidis #

 Greece Crisis

15

Protesters try to raise the aluminum shutters of a National Bank of Greece branch at Syntagma Square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) #

 Greece Crisis

16

A protester throws a chair into a burning barricade at Syntagma square during a demonstration in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece's lawmakers approved a key austerity bill Wednesday needed to avert default next month, despite a second day of rioting on the streets of Athens that left dozens of police and protesters injured. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) #

 Greece Crisis

17

Protestors clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

 Greece Crisis

18

Protesters' first aid hold a flag with the red cross as a riot police officer looks on during clashes at Athens' main Syntagma square, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece's lawmakers approved a key austerity bill Wednesday needed to avert default next month, despite a second day of rioting on the streets of Athens that left dozens of police and protesters injured. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

 Greece Crisis

19

Riot police clashes with protesters in Syntagma square, central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece's lawmakers approved a key austerity bill Wednesday needed to avert default next month, despite a second day of rioting on the streets of Athens that left dozens of police and protesters injured. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

 Greece Crisis

20

Demonstrators and police clash in front of the Greek Parliament on June 28, 2011 during a protest in Athens as part of a 48-hour general strike. Greece ground to a halt on June 28 as a 48-hour general strike began to bite against the bankruptcy-threatened government, which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros (17 billion US dollars) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE #

 Greece Crisis

21

Demonstrators and police clash near the Greek Parliament on June 28, 2011 during a protest in Athens as part of a 48-hour general strike. Greece ground to a halt on June 28 as a 48-hour general strike began to bite against the bankruptcy-threatened government, which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros (17 billion US dollars) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE #

 Greece Crisis

22

Protesters runsaway from police during a 24-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

 Greece Crisis

23

A masked demonstrator throws a stone to riot police during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

 Greece Crisis

24

Passers by run away from tear gas during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

 Greece Crisis

25

A demonstrator holds a bouquet of flowers with one hand and forming the 'V' sign with the other as she walks by riot police during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo) #

 Greece Crisis

26

Masked protestors hurl stones during clashes with riot police during a 24-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

 Greece Crisis

27

Protester clash with riot police on the sideline of a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Angelos Tzortzinis #

 Greece Crisis

28

A demonstrator throws stone to police during a demo in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo) #

 Greece Crisis

29

Protesters shout slogans as riot police stand in Athens' Syntagma square, Tuesday, June 28, 2011. Youths hurled rocks and fire bombs at riot police in central Athens on Tuesday as a general strike against new austerity measures brought the country to a standstill. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

 Greece Crisis

30

Riot police detain a protester during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

 Greece Crisis

31

Protesters throw stones at riot police during a demonstration in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Youths hurled rocks and fire bombs at riot police in central Athens on Tuesday as a general strike against new austerity measures brought the country to a standstill. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

 Greece Crisis

32

A demonstrator with his face covered in a cream to guard against the effects of tear gas during a demonstration in Athens, Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

 Greece Crisis

33

Protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

 Greece Crisis

34

A photographer helps an injured protestor after clashes with police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / Alkis Konstantinidis #

 Greece Crisis

35

Protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike on June 28, 2011 in Athens. Greece is set to come to a halt on Tuesday as protesters launch a 48-hour general strike against the bankruptcy-threatened government which is desperately trying to push through sweeping austerity cuts. As parliament votes on the drastic belt-tightening measures to unlock 12 billion euros ($17 billion) of blocked funds from the EU and IMF, unions have called on Greeks facing hefty tax hikes to stage mass demonstrations. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

 Greece Crisis

36

A protester shakes the hand of a riot policeman during a demonstration in Athens on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Youths hurled rocks and fire bombs at riot police in central Athens on Tuesday as a general strike against new austerity measures brought the country to a standstill. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

 Greece Crisis

37

Demonstrators burn a cafe umbrella during a demonstration in Athens late Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed to avoid bankruptcy . (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

 Greece Crisis

38

A laser light is shone into the eyes of a riot police officer by protesters during a demonstration in Athens, late Tuesday June 28, 2011. Greece's beleaguered government is bracing for a 48-hour general strike as lawmakers debate a new round of austerity reforms designed to win the country additional rescue loans needed to avoid bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) #

 Greece Crisis

39

Protestors clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

 Greece Crisis

40

Protestors clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / STR #

 Greece Crisis

41

A riot policeman strikes a demonstrator trying to prevent deputies from reaching the Greek parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

 Greece Crisis

42

A wounded protester is being led away from clashes with riot police as protesters tried to prevent deputies from reaching the Greek parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

 Greece Crisis

43

Riot police clash with protestors during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS #

 Greece Crisis

44

Riot police clash with protestors during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS #

 Greece Crisis

45

A demonstrator runs from riot police after police dispersed protestors who tried to block roads leading to the Greek Parliament during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

 Greece Crisis

46

A demonstrator lies on the ground as riot police police disperse protestors who tried to block roads leading to the Greek Parliament during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

 Greece Crisis

47

A man drives with his dog past riot police blocking access to the Greek Parliament during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

 Greece Crisis

48

Demonstrators clash with riot police outside the Greek Parliament on June 29, 2011 in Athens during a 48-hour general strike. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

 Greece Crisis

49

A protester throws a stone at police at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

 Greece Crisis

50

Demonstrators face riot police outside the Greek Parliament on June 29, 2011 in Athens during a 48-hour general strike. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE #

 Greece Crisis

51

Demonstrators face riot police outside the Greek Parliament on June 29, 2011 in Athens during a 48-hour general strike. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE #

 Greece Crisis

52

Riot police run to avoid stones at Syntagma square in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies are to vote later Wednesday on a deeply unpopular finance austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) #

 Greece Crisis

53

A demonstrator helps a wounded protestor outside the Greek Parliament on June 29, 2011 in Athens during a 48-hour general strike. Protestors clashed with police, who fired tear gas early on June 29, several hours before the Greek Parliament was to vote on an austerity package. The vote on a 28.4 billion-euro (40.8 billion US dollar) package of taxes, spending cuts and sell-offs is crucial for Greece to secure international aid to stave off bankruptcy, which is threatening the stability of the eurozone. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI #

 Greece Crisis

54

A demonstrator stands behind a wall as protesters clash with riot police during a 48-hour general strike in Athens on June 29, 2011. Prime Minister Georges Papandreou said Wednesday Greece would do everything possible to avoid a debt default that would threaten the entire eurozone, moments before lawmakers were to vote on a new austerity package. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS #

 Greece Crisis

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iot policemen arrest a protester during clashes in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011.Greek deputies are to vote Wednesday on a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining is Greece can avoid a potentially disastrous financial default in the coming weeks .(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

 Greece Crisis

56

Riot police lead away a protester they placed under arrest as another protester looks on from his seat during a demonstration in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greek deputies passed on Wednesday a deeply unpopular austerity bill that has provoked days of rioting in the streets of Athens, with the result of the vote determining whether the country can avoid a potentially disastrous default in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) #

 Greece Crisis

57

A protester prepares to hit riot police with a stick during clashes at Syntagma square, central Athens, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Greece approved more austerity measures needed to avert default next month, in a vote Wednesday that calmed markets but triggered a second day of riots that left dozens injured and the capital blanketed with tear gas. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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A protester claps his hands in front of a riot policeman during a day of rioting in central Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 27, 2011. Greek police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the center of Athens as labor unions shut down government services before a vote by lawmakers on austerity measures that may determine if the nation can avoid a default. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg #

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ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 28: Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against plans for new austerity measures on June 28, 2011 in Athens, Greece. Greece's largest labor unions have called for a 48-hour strike, while the Socialist government is beginning to push through legislation for cost cutting reforms. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) #

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ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 28: Demonstrators clash with police during a protest against plans for new austerity measures on June 28, 2011 in Athens, Greece. Greece's largest labor unions have called for a 48-hour strike, while the Socialist government is beginning to push through legislation for cost cutting reforms. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images) #

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Over the last decade, Greece went on a debt binge that came crashing to an end in late 2009, provoking an economic crisis. Over the next two years, Greece relied on bailout money from its richer neighbors and implemented austerity measures meant to cut its bloated deficit and restore investor confidence. But by June 2011 it found itself deep in a second recession, near the end of its cash and facing a political crisis, as anti-austerity demonstrations grew. Violence broke out this week during one of those demonstrations, injuring 11, as the frustration continued to grow and no quick fixes emerged. Today, Greece's Prime Minister George Papandreou, in a broad cabinet reshuffle, appointed a new Finance Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, in hopes of turning his country around. - Paula Nelson (43 photos total)
A banner reads "yes to the society no to the power" during a rally against plans for new austerity measures, in Thessaloniki, Greece, June 15, 2011. A 24-hour strike by Greece's largest labor unions was to cripple public services, as the Socialist government began a legislative battle to push through last-ditch cost cutting reforms that would exceed its own term in office. Demonstrators have camped outside parliament since May 25, 2011. (Nikolas Giakoumidis/Associated Press)

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