Posted tagged ‘Alexandros Grigoropoulos’

New Protests Erupt in Greece

December 15, 2008

More youths protested outside of Athens’ main police headquarters earlier today, pelting riot police with flour and other objects to protest the shooting death of a teenager. Riot police have responded to the protesters with tear gas.

From the Associated Press:

Some 2,000 youths at the rally blocked one of the capital’s main avenues, chanted slogans and set fire to trash bins before dispersing. Two demonstrators were arrested.

Students also staged peaceful blockades of several other busy roads Monday in the capital and protested outside Athens’ main court complex, where five people arrested during last week’s riots were to appear before an examining magistrate. Riot police guarded the complex and no disturbances were reported.

Greece has seen its worst riots in decades after 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos died Dec. 6 in a police shooting. The riots quickly spread from Athens to more than a dozen cities. For a week, youths smashed and burned stores and cars, and hurled petrol bombs and rocks at riot police, who responded with stun grenades and large amounts of tear gas.

Dozens of people were injured in the rioting, while hundreds of stores were damaged or looted and more than 200 people were arrested. The policeman accused of killing the teenager has been charged with murder and is being held pending trial.

However, the protests are shifting from just expressing anger at police to showing general anger at the country’s increasingly unpopular conservative government and the economic hardships faced by many Greeks.

Socialist opposition leader George Papandreou renewed calls Monday for early elections.

“The government cannot deal with this crisis,” he said. “It cannot protect people — their rights or property — and it cannot identify with the anxiety felt by the younger generation.”

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, whose party has only a single seat majority in parliament, has repeatedly rejected calls to resign and call early elections, saying the country needed a steady hand in times of crisis.

Sunday was the first trouble-free day since Grigoropoulos’ killing, but some groups, mostly left-wing students, have vowed to keep up the protests until the government addresses their concerns.

Greek Cities Continue to be Rocked by Riots

December 8, 2008

Riot police fired tear gas at youths smashing storefronts and throwing rocks at a police station in this Greek port city on Monday, one of scattered confrontations around the country on a third day of rioting sparked by the fatal police shooting of a teenager in Athens.

From the Associated Press:

Gangs of youths overturned trash cans and set them on fire in Thessaloniki, one of several cities where rioting began Saturday.

Running battles between riot police firing tear gas and about 400 high school students throwing rocks also broke out Monday morning in Veria, a town about 40 miles west of Thessaloniki.

Violence was reported in the central city of Trikala, where one police officer was reportedly injured, while authorities braced for more possible riots during demonstrations planned across the country, including in Athens, in the central city of Larissa and on the island of Corfu.

In the capital, high school students blocked streets across the city to protest the 15-year-old’s death, while dozens of youths were still barricaded at two university campuses in Athens. Under Greek law, the police are barred from entering university campuses.