Τρίτη, 9 Δεκεμβρίου 2008

BBC Riot-hit Athens to bury teenager

Cannot play media.You do not have the correct version of the flash player. Download the correct version Advertisement Rioting continued in Greece for a third night The funeral is to be held in Greece of a 15-year-old boy whose shooting by police has provoked nationwide rioting. Hundreds of buildings have been torched and dozens of people have been injured in three days of riots sparked by the death of Alexandros Grigoropoulos. Scores of arrests have been reported, but police fear there could be further unrest when the funeral takes place in an Athens suburb at 1500 (1300 GMT). Schools are shut for the funeral and leaders are holding crisis meetings. Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has held talks with President Karolos Papoulias and is also due to meet opposition leaders in an attempt to reach a consensus on what action to take. After an emergency cabinet meeting on Monday, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said the government would not put up with the violence. But appeals for calm have so far been largely ignored by the mostly young protesters, and plans as to how the violence should be contained remain unclear. Police at bay The prime minister vowed on Tuesday morning there would be no leniency in dealing with the rioters. Map Rebellion deeply embedded In pictures: Greek riots Eyewitness: Athens riot Read your comments Earlier, he said his government was obliged to protect the community while calling for a sense of solidarity with the Grigoropoulos family. "The unacceptable and dangerous events that have gone on under the most extreme of emotions cannot and must not be tolerated," he said. However, police appear to be powerless to prevent rioters from attacking symbols of wealth and prestige in Athens, the BBC's Malcolm Brabant reports. A clean-up was under way after protesters wielding petrol bombs set fire to banks, shops, hotels vehicles, rubbish bins and even the city's giant Christmas tree in central Syntagma Square. "Rage is what I feel for what has happened, rage," said a student taking part in the protests. "This cop who did it must see what is to kill a kid and to destroy a life." Violent clashes have been reported in towns and cities across the country, spreading to Rhodes and Crete on Monday. Police stations were attacked in Piraeus and Corfu. Hundreds of students clashed with riot police in Thessaloniki, Greece's second biggest city, where students used university buildings to stockpile petrol bombs. No troops With widespread reports of looting, Mr Karamanlis blamed "extreme elements" for taking advantage of the situation to engage in vandalism, and pledged to compensate businesses damaged. A man stands in front of a burning barricade in Athens, Greece (08/12/2008) Hundreds of rioters have set fire to vehicles and property in central Athens He did not say what the government's plans were to handle the crisis after Monday's emergency cabinet meeting. Observers say a state of emergency may be imposed, giving the authorities special powers to clear the streets. But there is no question of calling in troops, our correspondent says: Greece has bitter memories of military rule so seeing troops on streets would be beyond the pale. Two police officers have been arrested in connection with Alexandros Grigoropoulos's death on Saturday, but results of a post-mortem to determine the trajectory of the bullet that killed him are not yet known. The officer who fired contends it was a ricochet from a warning shot but witnesses told Greek TV it was a direct hit.