Anti-government protesters in Albania have pelted police with tomatoes, eggs, and smoke flares during a rally near parliament.

Several thousand supporters of the conservative opposition attended the rally Thursday and challenged a police cordon as lawmakers from the center-right Democratic Party presented procedural obstacles during a municipal budget debate.

The opposition has launched a protest campaign against Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama's government, accusing it of corruption and ineffective leadership.

Protests are being organized amid an unpopular government crackdown on nonpayment of household electricity bills, as well as recent hikes in income taxes and social security contributions.