Riot police clashed with demonstrators outside Parliament Wednesday as a general strike paralyzed Greece, shutting down schools, hospitals and international flights and raising pressure on a fragile government reeling from four days of riots.
The lawyer for the two officers accused in the fatal shooting of a teenager that set off the unrest said ballistics show 15-year-old Alexandros Griogropoulos was killed by a ricochet and not a direct shot. Lawyer Alexis Cougias said the report corroborated the officers’ account that they fired warning shots and did not shoot directly at the boy.
One officer has been charged with murder and the other as an accomplice. They were to appear in court later in the day. Authorities have not made the ballistics report public.
Critics say that the government has lost control over the tactical
management of the crisis, with radical anarchists burning shops, cars,
banks and even government buildings, including the Hellenic Parliament Foundation
and the Foreign Ministry’s diplomatic academy. Some 320 stores, 50
banks and a number of civilian buildings have been damaged or destroyed
in Athens, with another 100 stores in the northern city of Thessaloniki targeted. There have also been outbreaks of violence in several small cities and on the island of Corfu.
In Athens’ Syntagma square, just across from Parliament,
protesters set ablaze the large Christmas tree. Today, more clashes
took place in the square and the surrounding streets as police used
tear gas to break up a large group of protestors throwing rocks at the Parliament building.
Later in the afternoon clashes resumed in downtown Athens with youth
groups barricaded in the Athens Polytechnic School, near the Exarchia
district, setting up roadblocks outside the School, burning cars and
Quite a few Greek radical groups have adopted Arabic noms de guerres;
they promote illegal immigration of Muslims into Europe, and call for
the destruction of Western civilization. They are part of an almost
global network that acts as a “soft power” element of the hard one, as
envisaged by Al Qaeda. It has to be stressed once more that rogue
elements of western security forces protect them. They have to be dealt
with as soon as possible.
Another proof of the alliance between radical left and Islamism.