Greek police officers staged a protest outside the prime minister's office on Thursday, with some even getting pepper-sprayed as they demonstrated against new austerity measures the government is planning.

Officers guarding the central Athens building sought to push back the 20 demonstrators, who held up a banner that read «Protect those who protect you.» No arrests were reported by authorities.

"We staged a small protest together with colleagues from the Coast Guard and the Fire Service. We wanted to hand over a petition to the government,» Grigoris Bakaris, a senior member of the Greek Police Officers' Association who joined the protest.

"There was an argument — I wouldn't call it a scuffle, but an argument — and that was a very limited use of chemicals (pepper spray) and the incident ended there. We later were allowed to hand in our petition."

Authorities responded to the protest by padlocking entrances to a public park near the prime minister's office, leaving more than 20 tourists stranded inside for over an hour.

Elsewhere in Athens, meanwhile, public transport workers staged a 24-hour strike, halting subway and tram services.

Judges and doctors at public hospitals also began protests this week, turning away most cases in a slow-down strike, while tax workers are to strike Friday.