Protests against the new demonstration law were conducted in dozens of cities in Greece on Thursday.

In Athens, at least 10,000 protesters gathered outside the Greek parliament after voting on the bill.

Police must have used tear gas after parts of the protesters threw fire bombs, reports the news agency AP. Nine protesters were arrested and six police officers were injured in the violent clashes.

Violent protests erupted in the Greek capital of Athens after a new demonstration act was passed by Parliament. Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis / AP

Street protests are common

Smaller street protests have been a recurring element in Greece since the economic crisis of 2009. The conservative Greek government believes that the regular demonstrations are causing traffic disruptions and have consequences for trade.

"The right to hold peaceful demonstrations must be protected, but it must be done in a way that does not affect the operation of an entire city," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during the second and final day of parliamentary debate, according to the AP.

Left Leader: You are afraid of the anger of society

According to the new law, which was voted in Parliament by 187 against 101 votes, authorities should be able to prohibit smaller demonstrations if they are considered a danger to the public. The organizers of the street protests should also be held responsible for any damage caused by the protesters.

The Corona pandemic has hit hard on Greece and the country is expected to enter a deep economic crisis this fall. Syrias leader Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister in the years 2015–2019, has accused the government of introducing the new law in the hope of avoiding major workers' protests in the fall.

- You are afraid of society's reactions and anger. That is why you are preparing for this repression, said Alexis Tsipras in Parliament.