Two policemen were charged with the death of a 15-year old participating in clashes, one for manslaughter and the other for abetting him. The charge has sparked massive riots by anarchist groups in Greece's two main cities, Athens and Thessaloniki.
REUTERS - Hundreds of demonstrators threw fire bombs at police, smashed shop windows and burned vehicles in
Despite appeals for calm from
"The fire brigade will evacuate the building."
Anger among Greek youths has been fanned by the growing gap between the rich and poor in recent years. Street violence at student rallies and fire bomb attacks by anarchist groups are common.
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, whose government has been rocked by scandal and an economic slowdown, pledged action in a public apology to the father of the dead boy.
"I know nothing can relieve your pain, but I assure you ... the state will act, as it ought to, so that yesterday's tragedy won't be repeated," he said.
Two police officers were arrested in connection with the shooting and prosecutors said in a statement one would be charged with manslaughter and the other with abetting him.
One officer fired three shots after their patrol car was attacked by a group of 30 youths in
A police official said the officer described the shots as warning shots. Witnesses told Greek TV he fired directly at the boy who died.
Twenty-four police were injured in
"It is the first time in my life I've seen the city ravaged in this way. The government is to blame," said Ioannis Damascos, 59, surveying the damage in central
It was the first time since 1985 that a minor had been killed in clashes with police. The 1985 killing sparked months of almost daily clashes between police and protesters.
"We must not feel weak and disgraced, but furious with the government's incapacity, apathy and irresponsibility," said opposition Socialist party leader George Papandreou.
The Socialists have taken the lead in opinion polls amid anger at public scandals and the government's economic stewardship. Many analysts say Karamanlis could be forced to call an early election next year.
Date created : 2008-12-07