Greece's parliament will today vote on a new set of austerity measures that are crucial if the country is to secure a 31.5bn euros financial aid package from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of Greek public and private sector workers began in a 48-hour general strike in protest of the prospect of further spending cuts.
Protesters have started gathering outside the Greek Parliament in Athens, as a 48-hour general strike has brought the country to a virtual stand still.
The streets of Athens are empty as hundreds of thousands of Greeks begin a crippling 48-hour strike to protest against a new round of wage and pension cuts that parliament will vote on tomorrow.
The strike, called by the two biggest labour unions in Greece who represent half the four million-strong workforce, brought public transport to a virtual standstill and shuttered schools, banks and local government offices.
Wednesday's vote is the biggest test yet for the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, which needs victory to secure aid from foreign lenders but has failed to convince its smallest coalition partner and the public to back the reforms.
Violent protests took place in Athens today as German Chancellor Angela Merkel - who is a widely disliked figure within the country - arrived in Greece.
Only a few hundred metres from mass protests in central Athens Angela Merkel has been speaking with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras about the austerity measures Greece is facing.
Rocks and debris have been thrown at riot police in Athens and explosions have rocked the crowd as ten of thousands protest over the visit of Angela Merkel.