Greek rioters throw petrol bombs and stones at police

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The Independent Online

Protesters hurled firebombs and stones at police outside parliament yesterday, and unions grounded flights and closed public offices in the 13th consecutive day of anti-government violence since police shot dead a teenager.

Crowds waving red flags jostled with police cordoning parliament, and tried to burn a Christmas tree in the square outside. Police fired teargas to disperse them.

"Down with the government of blood, poverty and privatisations," read one of the banners carried by some 7,000 marchers in protests against social and economic reforms and the government's failure to shelter Greeks from the global economic crisis which were unleashed by the teenager's killing.

Unions, students and teachers also staged rallies in the northern city of Thessaloniki and on Crete. Greece's worst protests in decades, which followed the shooting of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos, fed off anger at the economic slowdown and rising youth unemployment.

The officer who shot the boy is in jail charged with murder and his partner is charged as an accomplice. On Wednesday, a 16-year-old boy was shot in the hand. Police denied opening fire.