Riot police used tear gas against hundreds of youths nearby a cemetery where a funeral service was being held for a 15-year-old boy whose killing sparked recent violence. Meanwhile, fresh clashes broke out near a central Athens police station.
The spark that set Greece on fire - read our Observers' account of the rioting
Tension was still palpable in Greece on Tuesday afternoon as the funeral of the 15-year-old-teenager Alexandros Grigoropoulos shot down on Saturday by a policeman in Athens was held in a cemetery in Paleo Faliro, a suburb of the Greek capital.
Speaking to FRANCE 24 by phone, Vassia, a sociology student in Athens, joined the protests near the cemetery: “The clashes started not far from here soon after the burial. The police quickly tear-gassed the demonstrators before arresting a couple of youths, some of whom weren’t being violent.”
‘Hooligans join the demonstrators’
On the fourth day of rioting in the country, the Greek PM Costas Caramanlis warned that his government would show little indulgence towards the protestors. The ongoing demonstrations have been marred by looting. Vassia, however, refuses to lump demonstrators and looters together. “During the protests, hooligans used to football stadiums were the most violent. But the misdemeanors of this minority should not overshadow the exasperation of the student community.”
Clashes set off in Athens on Saturday following the death of the teenager and quickly spread to the whole country, according to FRANCE 24's correspondent in Greece, Alexia Kefalas. “People are demonstrating both in large university cities and in smaller towns, and even in villages or islands where there aren’t any universities.” Faced with growing insecurity in the job market, youths are becoming more and more radical, challenging a political elite already shaken by a series of scandals. “Young people have lost faith in the future,” says Kefalas.
The movement has also spread to European towns. About sixty students briefly occupied the Greek consulate on Tuesday. According to Kefalas, the breadth of the movement is no surprise. “This unrest has been brewing for several years, the tragedy on Saturday evening only brought things to a head.”
Date created : 2008-12-09