Protesters storm Greek Defense Ministry grounds

October 4, 2012

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Dozens of protesting shipyard workers have barged their way into the grounds of Greece's Defense Ministry near central Athens.

Blockading one of the entrances to the ministry buildings, the demonstrators from the Skaramanga Shipyards are complaining they haven't been paid in months. The shipyard dealt mainly with military contacts.

Several dozen protesters muscled their way through the outer perimeter of the ministry's grounds Thursday, breaking down a door and walking across the courtyard to blockade the steps of the main ministry building.

A unit of riot police soon arrived on the scene to protect the general staff entrance, and a tense standoff ensued.

Greece has been gripped by a severe financial crisis since late 2009, and waves of spending cuts and tax hikes have led to frequent strikes and demonstrations.