Massive protests over the possibility of further Greek government cutbacks broke out into violence on Wednesday as protesters clashed with police just outside the parliament building in Athens.

Greece, which has been experiencing years of economic crisis that threatens the broader European economy, was set to make an initial austerity vote for a new round of cuts as soon as Thursday.

Protests reached the breaking point in what some observers were calling “one of the biggest protests in years.” As many as 100,000 outraged Greeks took to the streets.

The potential cutbacks, which will mainly affect the salaries and pensions of civil servants, are meant to avoid default on debt by the Greek government, which is under pressure from fellow Euro currency nations to get its deficits under control.

Default could potentially off set a larger crisis affecting the Euro and bring the world economy back into recession.

The clashes, which took place in part on the streets near parliament just off of Syntagma Square, led police to stun protestors and fire tear gas.

The protesters were joined by masked anarchists throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at police, according to RTNews. Protesters’ banners read “Thieves” and “We have had enough!”

Protestors burned garbage and pushed their way up to the steps of parliament. They also set on fire a sentry box usually guarded by ceremonial guards.

At least 14 police officers were injured during the protest, according to RIA Novosit news agency. A protestor also reportedly robbed a police officer’s gun, and at least 10 people were taken into custody.

“We can't make ends meet for our families, we've lost our salaries, we've lost everything and we're in danger of losing our jobs,” protester Eleni Voulieri told the Associated Press.

Greeces’ top finance official said that without the austerity measures, a bigger crisis could ensue.

"We have to explain to all these indignant people who see their lives changing that what the country is experiencing is not the worst stage of the crisis," Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told lawmakers in Parliament on Wednesday, AP reported.

"It is an anguished and necessary effort to avoid the ultimate, deepest and harshest level of the crisis. The difference between a difficult situation and a catastrophe is immense," he said.