ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's prime minister has appealed for calm amid widespread rioting and looting in Athens before a critical parliamentary vote on harsh austerity measures demanded to keep the country from going bankrupt and within the eurozone.
Lucas Papademos says vandalism and destruction "have no place in a democracy and will not be tolerated."
At least 15 businesses were burnt down and dozens of shops looted across central Athens in violence after more than 100,000 demonstrated outside parliament. Dozens of people have been injured and police detained more than 20 suspected rioters.
Papademos said Greece doesn't have the luxury of such protests "at these crucial times."
He spoke in parliament late Sunday before the vote on new austerity measures demanded by the country's bailout creditors to save Greece from bankruptcy.