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    Posted December 7, 2008 by
    Athens, Greece
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Greece riots

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    Greece erupts in flames after death of teen.



    The death of 15 year old in central Athens during clashes with

    police in the Exearchia district has sparked off a series of violent

    protests in the Greek capital and other major cities. Thessaloniki,

    Patras, and Crete all witnessed violent clashes between demonstrators

    and riot police.


    According to official reports  Andreas Grigoropoulos died after being shot at 9pm by police guarding the Exarcheia police station, which due

    to its proximity to the university of Athens is often a target for

    attacks by anarchist and other leftist groups. However, eye witness accounts tell a different story. According to

    local residents the the police officer shot Grigoropoulos after an

    argument. Greek national TV is now calling the incident a "cold blooded

    Murder" rather than an act of self - defence.




    News of the death quickly spread via the internet, sms and word of

    mouth leading to protests across Greece. Today's marches quickly turned

    violent as enraged demnstrators took our their anger on banks, shops

    and police stations.





    In Thessaloniki, Greece's second city the central Leukos Pyrgos police station

    was attacked by masked anarchists with rocks and molotov cocktails. The

    police replied with tear gas and flash grenades causing panic and chaos

    amongst the thousands of marchers not involved in the violence.






    TV images being shown live on Greek TV show central Athens swathed

    in smoke and tear gas and tens of small fires burn unattended as the

    fire fighters are unable to put them out.





    Although violent scenes are not uncommon in Greece the extent,

    duration and intensity of the riots seems to have taken the authorities

    by surprise.In addition the fact that many of those who took in protest

    marches were neither young nor students is indicative of the fact that

    the death of the teenager has angered many Greeks. Case in point was

    the pensioner, who stood in front of a phalanx of riot police,

    apoplectic with rage shouting, "cops, killer, pigs" during the march in Thessaloniki





    The events couldn't have come at a worst time for the conservative

    New Democracy government  which has been losing support due to its

    handing of the recent economic crisis and the alleged involvement of

    many senior officials in the Vatopedi corruption scandal.



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