Greek riots enter third day
Despite entering their third day the scenes of chaos and rioting in Greece's major cities seems far from over. Although there was an overnight lull in the clashes between protesters and riot police in Athens and other cities the peace was once again broken this afternoon when high school student marchers protesting the death of 15 year old, Andreas Grigoropoulos turned violent. Once more the central police station Thessaloniki, The country's second largest city came under attack. Unconfirmed eye witness accounts say that the police arrested a 13 year old girl during the event.
With the smell of burning plastic and tear gas hanging over much of the centre Thessaloniki resembles a war zone with heavily armoured riot police taking and re-taking strategic points along the central Egnatia Boulevard. In keeping with the tenets of guerrilla warfare their opponent simply retreat from the onslaught simply to reappear elsewhere within minutes.
Anarchist protesters have also taken over much of the university campus and other off campus departments such as the school of theatre where huge banners are hanging from the upper floor windows and loud rock music is blasting out.
In the face of such wide spread resistance the riot police appear unable to maintain order in the city. The situation seems to have slipped out the authorities ability to control. Traffic is still being allowed to enter riot zones around the university even though drivers are coming under attack with stones and paving blocks.
With two more protest rallies scheduled today at 6pm today in Athens and Thessaloniki there is little likelihood that tensions will lessen and protesters go home. Indeed more and more cities throughout the country are reporting unrest.
The latest revelation that the dead teenager was apparently shot in cold blood by a police officer in the Exarchia district on Saturday has simply added to the anger and frustration that many young Greeks feel over the situation in the country as a whole. Rising unemployment, low wages and limited prospects have helped fuel a toxic mix which is easily ignited. However, it should be noted that while violent street clashes are not unusual in Greece the length, duration and intensity of these latest episodes has taken many by surprise.