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12 Feb, 2016 09:40

800 Greek farmers storm Agriculture Ministry in Athens, police fire tear gas (VIDEO)

Police in Athens have used tear gas to disperse a rally of farmers protesting pension austerity measures as they pelted the Agriculture Ministry with stones. A larger protest demonstration is due to start later Friday.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s formerly left-wing government plans to raise pension contributions and taxes to deal with Greece’s budget deficit. Farmers from across the country flocked to the capital to voice their outrage at the moves.

About 800 farmers from Crete "attempted to push the police in front of the [Agriculture] Ministry's entrance. The police used tear gas to stop them," a law enforcement official said.

They smashed windows with stones before the police pushed them away.

Last week, the police and protesters clashed in front of Syntagma Square in Athens during a general strike. Some youths threw stones and petrol bombs as officers responded with stun grenades and tear gas.

READ MORE: Tear gas, Molotov cocktails deployed during general strike in Greece (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

The general strike was declared as part of a larger protest movement against the pension austerity measures.

The Greek government hopes to secure the third round of an international bailout by accepting further cuts and tax hikes demanded by international creditors. The cuts to pensions would be the 11th imposed since 2010.