Greece says 4,000 police on duty for German finance minister visit, in wake of austerity vote

More than 4,000 police officers are on duty for a visit to Athens by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, as the government banned demonstrations in the city after Parliament agreed overnight to more austerity measures.

Schaeuble is due to meet conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and other senior Greek officials on his long-anticipated trip to Greece on Thursday — his first since the crisis broke out in late 2009.

Parliament late Wednesday narrowly approved new measures allowing the mass firing and transfer of workers in its bloated public sector that has triggered a new round of large protests. Greece's two largest unions are not planning protests Thursday but striking municipal workers are expected to hold an afternoon protest.