Greek actress Maria Nafpliotou, unseen right, playing the role of a high priestess, hands over the Olympic flame using a backup flame lit Saturday near the Temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia where the Olympics were born in 776 B.C.,during a rehearsal for the Beijing Olympic flame lighting, Sunday, March 23, 2008. In a final rehearsal at noon Sunday, a Greek actress in the white gown and sandals of a pagan high priestess will use the sun's rays to kindle the torch for the 2008 Olympics, among the ruins of the ancient games' birthplace. That flame will be sent to China if storms forecast for Monday scuttle the official lighting ceremony. (AP Photo/Phil Ipparis)
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Protests and strikes are on in Greece today against harsh new austerity measures in the cash-strapped nation.
Greek protesters unfurled banners over the defensive walls of the ancient Acropolis, the country's most famous monument, and public servants, including school teachers and hospital workers, began a 48-hour strike.
About 100 protesters from the Greek Communist Party cut through locks on the gates of the major tourist attraction shortly after dawn and unfurled the banners in Greek and English reading: "Peoples of Europe - Rise Up."
Police did not intervene and the demonstrators did not attempt to prevent tourists from visiting the site.
Greece's cash-strapped government has announced sweeping spending cuts worth $40 billion through 2012 as part of an international bailout deal.
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