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Greece rocked by second day of anti-police riots
-Reuters – Thousands of protesters rampaged through Athens and the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Sunday, burning dozens of shops and vehicles in a second day of rioting after police shot dead a 15-year-old boy.
Greece’s worst protests in years erupted in the capital late on Saturday after the shooting of the teenager, identified by police as Alexandros Grigoropoulos, and quickly spread to Thessaloniki and the tourist islands of Crete and Corfu.
Despite appeals for calm from the conservative government, leftist demonstrators and anarchists held running battles with security forces on Sunday.
Authorities said some 34 people had been injured, including one woman with a serious head wound. Private TV stations said at least five more people were being treated in private hospitals.
«I’ve never experienced anything like this,» said Hara Christopoulou, 27, resident of the volatile Exarchia district where the boy was shot. «I tried to leave my house but there’s tear gas everywhere and the roads are full of youths in black.»
In recent years, anger among Greek youths has been fanned by the growing gap between rich and poor. Violence at student rallies and fire bomb attacks by anarchist groups are common.
In Athens, tear gas choked the streets and protesters rained petrol bombs down on rows of riot police while helicopters hovered overhead. Demonstrators chanted «Killers in Uniform.»
Glass, debris and charred cars were strewn across the streets and acrid smoke filled the air after protesters torched more than 30 shops and a dozen banks in the capital’s busiest commercial districts ahead of the busy Christmas period.
As night fell, more than 1,000 students played a cat and mouse game with police, retreating to the university campus which security forces are forbidden to enter. At least 13 people have been detained by police so far, many for looting.
In Thessaloniki, a protest by more than 1,000 people descended into violence when marchers lobbed firebombs at police, set fire to a bank and smashed several stores.

TWO POLICE ARRESTED
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, whose government has been rocked by scandal and an economic slowdown, pledged action in a public apology to the father of the dead boy.
«I know nothing can relieve your pain, but I assure you … the state will act, as it ought to, so that yesterday’s tragedy won’t be repeated,» he said.
Two police officers were arrested in connection with the shooting and prosecutors said in a statement one would be charged with willful killing and the other with abetting him.
A police statement said one officer fired three shots after their car was attacked by a group of 30 youths in Exarchia. A police official said the officer described his fire as warning shots but witnesses told Greek TV he took aim at the boy.
It was the first time since 1985 that a minor had been killed in clashes with police. The 1985 killing sparked months of almost daily clashes between police and protesters.
Greece, where one in five lives below the poverty line, has seen a rising wave of anti-government strikes and youth protests in recent months as the global slowdown has started to bite.
«We must not feel weak and disgraced, but furious with the government’s incapacity, apathy and irresponsibility,» said opposition Socialist party leader George Papandreou.
The Socialists have taken the lead in opinion polls amid anger at public scandals and the government’s economic stewardship. Many analysts say Karamanlis could be forced to call an early election next year.
(Writing by Daniel Flynn; editing by Andrew Roche)

Fresh riots erupt in Greek cities
Rioters throw stones and petrol bombs at police, who respond with tear gas

BBC    Thousands of protesters have attacked banks and shops in Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki, angered by the police’s killing of a teenager.
Demonstrators threw firebombs, rocks and other objects at the buildings and at police, who responded with tear gas.
Earlier, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos appealed for restraint.
The streets of the capital were already strewn with glass and rubble after a night of rioting sparked by Saturday’s shooting, in the Exarchia district.
During the overnight violence, protesters hurled rocks and petrol bombs at the police and damaged dozens of buildings.
It is everyone’s right to demonstrate and to advocate for their rights… But I stress, not by destroying the property of others
Prokopis Pavlopoulos
Greek Interior Minister
In a statement, the police said that Saturday’s riots had left 24 police officers injured, one seriously, and 31 shops, nine banks and 25 cars damaged or burned.
Six people were arrested, one of them for carrying a weapon.
Alex Hadjisavvas, the owner of a shop on Patission Avenue, told the BBC that many nearby businesses had also been looted.
«The window was smashed, the shop front damaged and a large quantity of stock taken from inside has been used by the rioters as material to start street fires,» he said.
The unrest, the worst in the country in several years, later spread to Thessaloniki and the southern island of Crete.
Police ‘powerless’
The BBC’s Malcolm Brabant says that after a lull in the fighting on Sunday morning, youths left the Polytechnic college and joined hundreds of others on a march towards the police headquarters on Alexandras avenue.
They passed close to where the teenager, who has been named as 15-year-old Andreas Grigoropoulos, was shot dead on Saturday. One banner they were carrying called the police «murderers».
Protesters threw firebombs at riot police, who fired tear gas in response
One protester outside the National Museum told the BBC he had been greatly angered by the actions of the police.
«It’s not the first time. They always kill people – immigrants, innocent people – and without any excuse,» he said. «They murdered him in cold blood.»
«I think [the violence] is justified. Peaceful demonstrations cannot get a solution to the problem… They can feel the pressure from the people and not do it again.»
As many expected, the march soon turned violent, with protesters throwing firebombs at riot police after tear gas was fired in an effort to disperse them.
Several banks and shops were attacked, while a supermarket and at least one car dealership were set alight, police and witnesses said. Clashes also broke out near the parliament.
In Thessaloniki, a march by more than 1,000 people on two police stations also descended into violence when protesters threw firebombs at police and attacked nearby shops and banks.
They also damaged vehicles belonging to Greek TV channels.
There have meanwhile been unconfirmed reports that a policeman was injured and banks and cars set on fire during protests in the western city of Patras.
Earlier, the country’s interior minister called for restraint and expressed sadness over Andreas Grigoropoulos’s death.
«It is everyone’s right to demonstrate and to advocate for their rights,» Mr Pavlopoulos said. «But I stress, not by destroying the property of others, not turning against people who are not to blame for anything.»
Protesters screamed slogans, attacking police cars with rocks
Paul Johnston
Local resident

Both he and Deputy Interior Minister Panagiotis Chinofotis have submitted their resignations, but they were not accepted by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.
Mr Karamanlis has publicly apologised to the father of the dead boy.
«I know nothing can relieve your pain, but I assure you… the state will act, as it ought to, so that yesterday’s tragedy won’t be repeated,» he said.
The two police officers involved in the shooting of the teenager have been arrested, and an inquiry is under way.
In a statement, the police said their patrol car had been attacked by about 30 youths throwing stones. They were attacked again and responded, with one firing a stun grenade and the other shooting and fatally wounding the boy.
However, our correspondent says that nothing the politicians or authorities can say or do will reduce the anger that is building.
A similar shooting incident in 1985 led to a lengthy vendetta between the youth and police, with violence continuing for years.
Citizens in major towns and cities across the country are therefore bracing themselves for the worst, he adds.
Violence often breaks out during demonstrations in Greece, but people are rarely injured. Last week, a small group of people clashed with police at a protest against the government’s education policy.

Riots continue across Greece after teen killed by police
CNN – Hundreds of young self-styled anarchists rioted in the streets Sunday and attacked police in several Greek cities in a fury over the shooting death of a teenager by a member of an elite police corps.
A protester and a riot policeman in central Athens Sunday afternoon.
1 of 4 The shooting on Saturday night triggered demonstrations and violence across the country late Saturday, and showed no sign of abating Sunday.
«It at first seemed like it was calming down today, but then at 5 p.m. Athens time it kicked off again,» said Joel Brown, a CNN senior press officer visiting Athens. «There are lots of burning bins and debris in the street and a huge amount of tear gas in the air, which we got choked with on the way back to our hotel.»
Tourists holed up in downtown Athens hotels were told by hotel staff not to leave their rooms as police fanned out across the city.
The police officer who fired the fatal shot has been charged with «manslaughter with intent» and suspended from duty, police said, adding that a second police officer was arrested Saturday on criminal accessory charges.
Demonstrators barricaded city streets Sunday in Athens and Thessaloniki and hurled petrol bombs as they battled with police, who fought back with tear gas in the second day of rioting. Watch youths riot in Greece »
Rampaging youths smashed storefronts and burned businesses, leaving shattered glass and burnt debris scattered across both cities.
Residents of an apartment building in central Athens were evacuated on Sunday after angry demonstrators torched a car dealership on the basement floor.
A police statement about the boy’s death said the incident started when six young protesters pelted a police patrol car with stones. The 16-year-old boy was shot as he tried to throw a fuel-filled bomb at the officers, police said.
Other youths converged on the site almost immediately.
These young people — often referred to in Greece as » the known-unknowns» — use texting and Web sites to organize and communicate.
Fighting between youths and police quickly erupted in other parts of Greece, including Thessaloniki, the country’s second largest city. Hundreds of youths took to the streets of the sprawling port city, and finally barricaded themselves behind the gates of a state university, where police are barred from entering.
No deaths were reported, though police say several police officers have been injured. iReport.com: Are you there? Share photos, video of rioting
Police say some protesters have been rounded up for questioning.
Government officials, fearing more violence, swiftly condemned the shooting.
«An investigation is under way and those found responsible with be punished,» said Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos. «Measures will also be taken to avoid such incidents again in the future.»

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