Skirmishes broke out between police and a small group of about 20 masked individuals during a protest outside the Greek parliament on Wednesday afternoon, after the latter separated from the main body of a crowd taking part in protest march on the occasion of a nationwide strike. The masked individuals hurled firebombs at the outer courtyard of the Parliament building.

Police arrested four individuals after they were found to have unused firebombs in their backpacks. The clashes spread to Patission Street where unknown individuals also threw so-called “Molotov cocktails”, with police responding with tear gas and flash-bang grenades while proceeding with arrests.

The bulk of the demonstrators began to move away from Syntagma Square, however, the march did not dissolve, although there was tension for several minutes.

According to initial reports, around 15,000 people gathered around the Parliament at Syntagma Square as part of a nationwide strike after public and private labor unions declared a 24-hour strike.

The demonstrators, who marched through central streets in Athens, demanded among other things better pay and political accountability on a day that marked the first anniversary of a train crash at Tempi, central Greece which resulted in the death of 57 people. Relatives of the victims claim authorities are implicated in a cover-up to hide the responsibilities of higher-up political officials.