Greek Protests Spread With Arrests Across Europe

Anger over the fatal shooting of a Greek schoolboy by a policeman has spread across Europe with protests as far afield as Moscow and Madrid.

By Nick Squires In Athens
Last Updated: 1:11PM GMT 11 Dec 2008

Demonstrations against the killing were seen in cities across the continent with left-wing radicals and other sympathisers taking to the streets.

In Spain, 11 protesters were arrested and several police officers injured when clashes took place in Madrid and Barcelona.

In Copenhagen, 32 people were arrested when their protest in support of the Greek protests turned violent.

In neighbouring Turkey, about a dozen left-wing protesters daubed red paint over the front of the Greek consulate in Istanbul.

Around 150 people belonging to a Danish underground movement took to the streets, throwing bottles and paint bombs at buildings, police cars and officers. In Moscow and Rome, protesters threw petrol bombs at Greece's embassies.

Journalists came under attack for the first time in the riots, with a Russian news crew assaulted by a mob of about 50 youths, some of them reportedly drunk.

A correspondent and a cameraman for Russian television channel NTV were injured in the confrontation, which happened while they filmed clashes in Exarchia, a crucible of student radicalism.

In Athens, around 40 youths threw stones at riot police near university buildings in the volatile Exarchia district where 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos was shot dead on Saturday.

They were met with volleys of tear gas and three arrests were made, police said. Overnight, students hurling petrol bombs and stones again battled riot police in Athens, in a continuation of the worst riots to have hit Greece in more than 30 years.

There were similar clashes in the northern city of Thessaloniki, where more than 80 shops and 14 banks were damaged, with students continuing to occupy university campuses.

Despite the turmoil that has rocked Greece since Grigoropoulos was killed, embattled Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said he would fly to Brussels to attend a European Union summit. His conservative government has a parliamentary majority of just one seat.

Corruption scandals and attempts at economic reform have made Mr Karamanlis' administration deeply unpopular, but he has so far resisted calls to resign and call early elections.

Epaminondas Korkoneas, 37, the police officer accused of shooting the teenager, has been charged with voluntary homicide and "illegal use" of his service weapon. He was ordered to remain in custody by an Athens magistrate.

His partner, Vassilios Saraliotis, 31, was charged with being an accomplice and will also remain in custody. The pair have been held since Sunday.

Under questioning by a magistrate, Mr Korkoneas said he had acted out of self defence when a group of youths began throwing firebombs and other objects while threatening to kill him and his partner. ... urope.html