Athens burns again on riot anniversary

Police firebombed and stoned in protest over shooting of youth last year

Masked youths hurled firebombs and chunks of marble at police during a march in Athens yesterday, the first anniversary of the police shooting of a teenager whose death sparked massive riots.



Officers fired volleys of tear gas as youths broke from a march of more than 3,000 people to smash the windows of shops and banks and set rubbish bins alight. The protesters were commemorating the death of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos. The teenager's death sent youths rampaging through cities for two weeks in December last year.

The anniversary rioters hurled rocks and firecrackers at police. Authorities said 160 people were detained for public-order offences in Athens alone yesterday, a total of 270 over the weekend. Another 130 were detained throughout Greece, including 88 in the northern city of Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece, where a similar demonstration also degenerated into violence. Youths threw petrol bombs at police, set fire to several cars and smashed 10 storefronts, including a Starbucks cafe. At least five protesters were injured. Sixteen officers were reported hurt.

In the capital's main Syntagma Square, police on motorcycles chased rioters amid scenes of chaos, with youths punching and kicking officers pushed off their bikes. One policeman who lost control of his motorbike struck and injured a woman on foot, who was taken to hospital in an ambulance. At least 6,000 officers were deployed across the city in an effort to contain the violence.

At Athens University, masked protesters broke into the building and pulled down a Greek flag, replacing it with a black-and-red anarchist banner. The dean was injured when the youths broke in and is now in intensive care, authorities said. A government official said: "We have about 600 to 1,000 people playing hide-and-seek with police in university buildings but we are determined to stop them."

A football match at Athens Olympic stadium between local clubs Panathinaikos and Atromitos was suspended for 30 minutes because of drifting clouds of teargas used by police against rioters outside the ground.

The new Socialist government, which came to power in October and has been confronted with a surge in armed attacks by far-left and anarchist groups, had warned of a zero-tolerance approach to violence at yesterday's commemorations. Reports say police formed snatch squads to capture breakaway groups intent on causing violence. At least 150 people were detained in a wave of police raids across the city all day on Saturday.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Engineer - Linux, Windows, Cloud - Central London

£40000 - £48000 per annum + 10% bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engin...

Recruitment Genius: Quality Inspector

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Female Buddy & Team Leader / Buddy

£11 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To join a team working with a female in her ...

Recruitment Genius: Configuration and Logistics Team Member

£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has over 30 years ...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence