Greek police charged 18 trade unionists with breaching the peace today for occupying a state electricity company building.
Members of the GENOP electric workers' union occupied a data centre on Sunday and unfurled a banner reading "We resist" as part of protests against a new property tax collected through electricity bills, with those unable to pay having their power cut.
They were dragged out by riot police, who stormed the building.
The trade unionists have been released pending trial. If convicted they could face months in jail.
Union president Nikos Fotopoulos, who led the occupation, said: "No matter how many times they arrest us we will not bow our heads."
The union is also fighting plans to lay off staff and slash wages, and has vowed "rolling 48-hour power strikes" if the latest round of austerity measures is forced through parliament to appease the "troika" - the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
The three have demanded deep cuts to welfare, pensions, public services and wages in return for a bailout to pay the country's creditors.
But talks over whether Athens's proposed budget meets their terms are continuing, despite the government planning to cut public spending by €13.5 billion (£11bn).
Eurozone finance ministers gathered in Luxembourg to launch the European Stability Mechanism - a €500bn bailout fund - said they didn't know if a Greek budget deal would be approved soon.
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker merely said "hope never dies."
Resistance was growing with hundreds of pensioners marching on the EU headquarters in Athens, where they gathered peacefully and burned an EU flag.
Far bigger protests are expected yesterday when German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in the Greek capital.
Trade unions GSEE and Adedy have called for a mass walkout and major protest rallies to greet Ms Merkel, the primary author of the cuts mania running so many European economies into the ground.
Athens plans to deploy an extra 7,000 police officers to protect the German leader, making the city centre a no-go area for protesters.
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