ATHENS, Greece — Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with fire bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence, less than a month after more intense clashes broke out during a similar protest.

Authorities said around 70,000 protesters took to the street in two separate demonstrations in Athens during the country's second general strike in a month as workers across the country walked off the job to protest new austerity measures the government is negotiating with Greece's international creditors.

Thursday's strike was timed to coincide with a European Union summit in Brussels later in the day, at which Greece's economic fate will likely feature large.

Riot police responded with volleys of tear gas and stun grenades in the capital's Syntagma Square outside Parliament as protesters scattered during the clashes, which continued on and off for about an hour. Another general strike in late September had also seen limited, but much more intense, clashes between protesters and police.

A 65-year-old protester suffered a fatal heart attack during the demonstration but efforts to revive him failed. The organizers of the protest march he participated in said the man had fallen ill before any rioting had broken out.

Four demonstrators were injured after being hit by police, volunteer paramedics said. The Health Ministry said two of the protesters were treated in hospital and that their injuries were not serious. Three policemen also required hospital treatment.

Hundreds of police had been deployed in the Greek capital ahead of the demonstration. Police said seven people were arrested Thursday, out of more than 100 detained.

The strike grounded flights, shut down public services, closed schools, hospitals and shops and hampered public transport in the capital. Taxi drivers joined in for nine hours, while a three-hour work stoppage by air traffic controllers led to flight cancellations. Islands were left cut off as ferries stayed in ports.

Athens has seen hundreds of anti-austerity protests over the past three years, since Greece revealed it had been misreporting its public finance figures. The country has been surviving since then with the help of two massive international bailouts worth a total (EURO)240 billion ($315 billion). To secure them, it has committed to drastic spending cuts, tax hikes and reforms, all with the aim of getting the state coffers back under some sort of control.

But while significantly reducing the country's annual borrowing, the measures have made the recession worse. By the end of next year, the Greek economy is expected to be around three quarters of the size it was in 2008. And with one in four workers out of a job, Greece has, along with Spain, the highest unemployment rate in the 27-nation European Union.

"We are sinking in a swamp of recession and it's getting worse," said Dimitris Asimakopoulos, head of the GSEVEE small business and industry association. "180,000 businesses are on the brink and 70,000 of them are expected to close in the next few months."

The country's four-month-old coalition government is negotiating a new austerity package with debt inspectors from the EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank. The idea is to save (EURO)11 billion ($14.4 billion) in spending – largely on pensions and health care – and raise an extra (EURO)2.5 billion ($3.3 billion) through taxes.

"In 2011, only 20 percent of businesses were profitable," Asimakopoulos said. "So these new tax measures present small businesses with a choice: Dodge taxes or close your shop."

After more than a month and a half of arguing, a deal seems close. On Wednesday, representatives from the EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank, said there was agreement on "most of the core measures needed to restore the momentum of reform" and that the rest of the issues should be resolved in coming days.

___

Costas Kantouris in Thessaloniki, and Elena Becatoros and Nicholas Paphitis in Athens contributed.

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  • Greece Crippled By General Strike

    ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 18: Protesters throw petrol bombs at riot police officers during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on October 18, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble today as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (Photo Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

  • Greece Crippled By General Strike

    ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 18: Protesters throw petrol bombs at riot police officers during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on October 18, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble today as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (Photo Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

  • Protesters throw petrol bombs against riot police during a 24-hour nationwide general strike, Athens, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Greece was facing its second general strike in a month Thursday as workers protested over another batch of austerity measures that are designed to prevent the bankruptcy of the country. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Riot police chase protesters during clashes during the 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

  • Riot police try to avoid petrol bombs thrown by protesters during a 24-hour nationwide general strike, Athens, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

  • A protester, background, clashes with riot police as a trade union member tries to calm other demonstrators during a 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

  • Riot police clash with protesters during the 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

  • Protesters throw a petrol bomb at riot police during clashes during the 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

  • Greece Crippled By General Strike

    ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 18: Protesters throw petrol bombs at riot police officers during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on October 18, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble today as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (Photo Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

  • Riot police are seen through tear gas during clashes during the 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

  • Petrol bombs explode in front of riot police during clashes during the 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

  • A protester shouts slogans during a rally during the 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

  • A Riot policeman pushes an elderly protester with his shield during clashes during the 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

  • GREECE-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EU-DEMO

    A fireboomb explodes near riot police during clashes with demonstrators during a 24-hour strike in Athens on October 18, 2012. Greek riot police fired tear gas to disperse protesters at an anti-austerity rally in Athens held during a national general strike as EU leaders were to tackle the eurozone crisis at a summit. The protesters had broken through a police line outside luxury hotels on central Syntagma Square and scattered groups of youths later attacked police with stones and firebombs, an AFP reporter said. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Greece Crippled By General Strike

    ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 18: Protesters shout at riot police officers during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on October 18, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble today as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (Photo Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

  • Greece Crippled By General Strike

    ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 18: A protester protects herself from tear gas in front riot police officers during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on October 18, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble today as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (Photo Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

  • Greece Crippled By General Strike

    ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 18: Protesters throw stones at riot police officers during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on October 18, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble today as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (Photo Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EU-STRIKE

    A man walks next to riot police forces during a protest march marking a 24-hour general strike on October 18, 2012 near the parliament in Athens. Greek riot police on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse protesters at an anti-austerity rally in Athens held during a national general strike as EU leaders were to tackle the eurozone crisis at a summit in Brussels. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EU-STRIKE

    Police stand amid tear gas during a protest march marking a 24-hour general strike on October 18, 2012 near the parliament in Athens. Greek riot police on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse protesters at an anti-austerity rally in Athens held during a national general strike as EU leaders were to tackle the eurozone crisis at a summit in Brussels. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A protester with a mask and a Greek flag is seen during clashes during the 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

  • Greece Crippled By General Strike

    ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 18: A protester in shock afther police used tear gas and a shock bomb during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on October 18, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble today as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (Photo Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

  • Greece Crippled By General Strike

    ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 18: Protesters protect themselves from tear gas used by riot police officers during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on October 18, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble today as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (Photo Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

  • Greece Crippled By General Strike

    ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 18: Protesters throw petrol bombs at riot police officers during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on October 18, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble today as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (Photo Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

  • Greece Crippled By General Strike

    ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 18: A protester wears a Guy Fawkes mask in front of the Greek Parliament bulding during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on October 18, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble today as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (Photo Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EU-STRIKE

    A man holds a placard in front of riot police forces during a protest march marking a 24-hour general strike on October 18, 2012 near the parliament in Athens. Greek riot police on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse protesters at an anti-austerity rally in Athens held during a national general strike as EU leaders were to tackle the eurozone crisis at a summit in Brussels. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EU-STRIKE

    Police clash with protesters during a rally marking a 24-hour general strike on October 18, 2012 near the parliament in Athens. Greek riot police on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse protesters at an anti-austerity rally in Athens held during a national general strike as EU leaders were to tackle the eurozone crisis at a summit in Brussels. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EU-STRIKE

    Police stand guard near a protester during a rally marking a 24-hour general strike on October 18, 2012 near the parliament in Athens. Greek riot police on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse protesters at an anti-austerity rally in Athens held during a national general strike as EU leaders were to tackle the eurozone crisis at a summit in Brussels. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EU-STRIKE

    Police stand guard near a protester during a rally marking a 24-hour general strike on October 18, 2012 near the parliament in Athens. Greek riot police on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse protesters at an anti-austerity rally in Athens held during a national general strike as EU leaders were to tackle the eurozone crisis at a summit in Brussels. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Greece Crippled By General Strike

    ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 18: Protesters protect themselves from tear gas used by riot police officers during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on October 18, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble today as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (Photo Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

  • Greece Crippled By General Strike

    ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 18: Protesters throw petrol bombs at riot police officers in front of Greek Parlament during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on October 18, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble today as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (Photo Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

  • Greece Crippled By General Strike

    ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 18: Protesters throw petrol bombs at riot police officers during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on October 18, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble today as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (Photo Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EU-STRIKE

    A protester holds a placard in front of riot police forces during a rally marking a 24-hour general strike on October 18, 2012 near the parliament in Athens. Greek riot police on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse protesters at an anti-austerity rally in Athens held during a national general strike as EU leaders were to tackle the eurozone crisis at a summit in Brussels. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EU-STRIKE

    A firebomb explodes in front of riot police forces during clashes with demonstrators during a rally marking a 24-hour general strike on October 18, 2012 near the parliament in Athens. Greek riot police on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse protesters at an anti-austerity rally in Athens held during a national general strike as EU leaders were to tackle the eurozone crisis at a summit in Brussels. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GREECE-FINANCE-ECONOMY-PUBLIC-DEBT-STRIKE

    A woman hides in a corner after clashes erupted between demonstrators and riot police during a 24-hour general strike on October 18, 2012. Greek riot police on October 18 fired tear gas to disperse protesters at an anti-austerity rally in Athens held during a national general strike as EU leaders were to tackle the eurozone crisis at a summit in Brussels. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Riot police try to avoid a petrol bomb in Athens, during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Greece was facing its second general strike in a month Thursday as workers protested over another batch of austerity measures that are designed to prevent the bankruptcy of the country. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • GREECE-FINANCE-PUBLIC-DEBT-EU-DEMO

    A demonstrator clashes with riot police during a 24-hour strike in Athens on October 18, 2012. Greek riot police fired tear gas to disperse protesters at an anti-austerity rally in Athens held during a national general strike as EU leaders were to tackle the eurozone crisis at a summit. The protesters had broken through a police line outside luxury hotels on central Syntagma Square and scattered groups of youths later attacked police with stones and firebombs, an AFP reporter said. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A protester clashes with riot police during a 24-hour nationwide general strike, Athens, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Greece was facing its second general strike in a month Thursday as workers protested over another batch of austerity measures that are designed to prevent the bankruptcy of the country. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Protesters clash with riot police during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Greece was facing its second general strike in a month Thursday as workers protested over another batch of austerity measures that are designed to prevent the bankruptcy of the country. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Protesters throw petrol bombs at riot police officers during a 24-hour nationwide general strike, Athens, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Greece was facing its second general strike in a month Thursday as workers protested over another batch of austerity measures that are designed to prevent the bankruptcy of the country. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Protesters clash with riot police in Athens, during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Greece was facing its second general strike in a month Thursday as workers protested over another batch of austerity measures that are designed to prevent the bankruptcy of the country. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Protesters clash with riot police in Athens, during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Greece was facing its second general strike in a month Thursday as workers protested over another batch of austerity measures that are designed to prevent the bankruptcy of the country. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Protesters throw petrol bombs against riot police during a 24-hour nationwide general strike, Athens, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Greece was facing its second general strike in a month Thursday as workers protested over another batch of austerity measures that are designed to prevent the bankruptcy of the country. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Riot police try to avoid petrol bombs thrown by protesters during clashes during the 24-hour nationwide general strike on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

  • A riot policeman kicks away a tear canister in Athens, during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Greece was facing its second general strike in a month Thursday as workers protested over another batch of austerity measures that are designed to prevent the bankruptcy of the country. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

  • Protesters throw petrol bombs against riot police during a 24-hour nationwide general strike, Athens, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

  • Riot police try to avoid petrol bombs thrown by protesters during clashes during the 24-hour nationwide general strike on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

  • Protesters prepare to throw petrol bombs against riot police during a 24-hour nationwide general strike on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

  • A protester, background, clashes with riot police as a trade union member tries to calm other demonstrators during a 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

  • A protester clashes with riot police during a 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

  • Riot police try to avoid petrol bombs thrown by protesters during a 24-hour nationwide general strike, Athens, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

  • Riot police kick a tear canister back at protesters during clashes during the 24-hour nationwide general strike on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)