Greece strikes: Your views

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A 48-hour general strike has begun in Greece as parliament prepares to vote on stringent austerity measures.

Thousands of protesters gathered outside parliament and small groups clashed with police in the centre of Athens.

BBC News website readers in Greece have been sending us their reaction to the latest developments.

Rachel, Paros, Greece

Rachel and her husband outside their coffee shop "I can understand why the Greeks are angry"

I run a cafe and a small independent supermarket with my husband on the Greek island of Paros. I am very happy here for now but depending on how much worse the situation gets I don't know how much longer we can stay here.

I can understand why the Greeks are angry about the austerity measures but they need to be realistic - someone has to pay these debts.

I certainly don't think that Europe pumping more money into the country will resolve the problems. I think it would be better if Greece left the euro. This is a tourist country and it would do better on a weaker currency like the drachma. This would encourage people to come here and spend money.

These strikes are also terrible for our tourist season. There has been a noticeable drop in the number of tourists visiting the island - I would estimate by about 30%.

It's not that I think strike action is always bad - it's good that people want their voices to be heard but they have been going on for over a year now and they are very disruptive.

We've already had the coldest and wettest spring and Easter in years and now the boats will not be running for two days. Who would come to Greece on holiday?

Andreas Konstantinidis, Drama, Greece

Andreas Konstantinidis "People here in Greece are getting desperate"

People here in Greece are getting desperate. They can't afford to pay any more taxes.

I am a student but I can see my parents struggling already as it is. There are simply no more measures that they can take to cut back.

If our government continues to demand more taxes then people won't be able to buy any goods. Many shops have already closed and this will continue to get worse. Unemployment will rise.

My parents are both teachers and they have heard that if this latest loan with the EU is not passed, they will not receive their salaries in July.

I am really worried that the economy of this country will collapse.

I support the strikes and totally agree with them. Most of the demonstrators are peaceful and just want to get their voices heard. There is a small group who try and bring down the protests by being violent but this does not reflect the majority.

Costas Scorpidis, Athens, Greece

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The city gets very congested when strike action takes place”

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I am self-employed so I haven't had to go out to get to work today. The city gets very congested when strike action takes place and obviously public transport is affected.

I'm all for the people being allowed to voice their disagreement but I don't like the violence. Fortunately most of the action is contained in a few square blocks of Athens. If you went to an island you probably wouldn't be aware that this was happening.

Everyone here will suffer because of these austerity measures. There will be cuts and heavy taxation. But I think in the long-run this is a blessing in disguise for the country.

There is no other way that the government can find a way of borrowing money unless these cuts are made. I think these measures are likely to force Greece to restructure its economy. We need to be more competitive and investor-friendly.

This crisis could force Greece into becoming an energy exporter and establish laws reducing red tape and promoting transparency.

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