Greece: clashes erupt as foreclosed property auctions resume

Greek police have used tear gas to hold back dozens of protesters trying to disrupt foreclosed property auctions that resumed after a hiatus of several months.

Protesters pelted police with trash cans, fire extinguishers and other items at the Athens courthouse where the auctions were taking place Wednesday.

The auctions are a key component of Greece's bailout talks with creditors. They are seen as essential for banks to get a grip on the huge number of bad loans on their books.

Greece's government has promised that primary residences worth up to 300,000 euros ($355,000) won't be auctioned off.

But it has also dispatched police so that auctions can proceed, unlike previous times when protesters succeeded in halting proceedings.

Moreover, online auctions were due to start for the first time Wednesday.