Continued Protests Puts Greek Government on the Defensive
While the scene of rioting that marked the previous week in Athens and other Greek cities have not been repeated this week, protests over the killing of 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos have continued unabated.
In place of anarchist wielding petrol bombs in Exarchia the country has seen a wave of demonstrations by high school and university students who have also occupied hundreds of schools and campuses.
In addition town halls, radio stations and government offices have witnessed sit-in by young Greeks angry over what a future which seems to offer little in the way of hope or prospects.
The death of the teenager 10 days ago seems to have triggered a wider social revolt by under 25's enraged by not just police brutality but also a political system which is seemingly mired in corruption and scandal. One in which members of the political elite pass on power to their family members. Case in point the present prime minister, Kostas Karamanlis, nephew of former PM, Constantinos Karamanlis who is simply a more obvious example of what of a wider phenomenon as the country's political life is riddled with a thick web of family connections which means that often the grandchildren of the ruling families cross swords in parliament decades after their grandparents have passed away.
Similarly, the the job market and economy in general is ruled by a system of patron - client relations which often sees the best paying jobs go to insiders rather than those most qualified.
The growing discrepancy between young people's aspirations and a youth unemployment rate of 25%, the highest in Europe has driven many to despair of their future.
The current crisis has not been helped by the seemingly endless wave of corruption and influence scandals that have hit the New Democracy administration which was narrowly re-elected in 2007. Despite numerous serious cases of financial impropriety, people feel that those involved have yet to be punished.
A feeling reinforced by the findings of a parliamentary report on the latest Vatopedi monastery land swap scandal which found that no senior government official involved had broken the law.
The Vatopedi case,which revolves around a series of dubious land deals between the state and the Greek orthodox church has scandalised public opinion and caused the government's standing in opinion polls to drop dramatically.
The feeling that those in positions of authority are above the law also includes the police who have been involved in a long list of cases in which deaths and excessive use of violence went unpunished or was hushed up.
Young activists clashed with police today outside the central courts in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki when the police officers involved in a Rodney King style beating of Cypriot student, Augoustinos Dimitrios in 2007 walked free after being given suspended sentences. The event which was captured live on shocked audiences with its savagery.
In the wake of the verdict many fear that the case of the teen who was shot by a 37 year old police officer will be swept under the carpet once protests die down.