Protesters in court as city counts cost of rioting

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A Briton is among 29 demonstrators due to appear in court today after two days of violent protests against the European Union summit in Greece.

More than 100 protesters were detained in Thessaloniki on Saturday, the final day of the conference, when the most serious violence broke out. Formal charges including vandalism and possession of explosives, will be filed against 29 of them.

The rioting and street battles between police and anarchists left the city's main Egnatia Avenue looking like a war zone. One rioter said: "We believe destroying the property of exploitative corporations like McDonald's is an acceptable protest."

Mary Kaldor, a professor at the London School of Economics and a senior figure in the Helsinki Citizens Assembly that drafted the only protest message to reach EU leaders, said: "Not much [was achieved] beyond the fact that so many young people were mobilised." Away from the violence, 50,000 peaceful marchers called for democracy, social justice, open borders and protection of the rights of immigrants.

The three-day gathering was almost certainly the last of its kind. Under rules agreed in 2000, the six-monthly summits will be held in future in Brussels.

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