x

Society

Greek Cops, Protesters Battle in Streets Over COVID-19 Crackdown

ATHENS – Tension over enforcing COVID-19 health measures erupted into violence in the neighborhood of Nea Smyrni when police and demonstrators clashed in a battle that saw tear gas and stun grenades used to break up a crowd.

Police said they were attacked while the protesters said police officers pulled out batons and started whacking people and produced social media videos showing people were arguing with the officers who then assaulted them.

The crowd was also protesting what demonstrators said was police violence after an earlier altercation the same day on March 7 when squads of law enforcement officers went there to investigate reports of violations of the health restrictions during a third extended lockdown.

Police said they were set upon by a group of 30 people who injured two police officers. Police reinforcement detained 11 from among the group, police say.

But videos uploaded on several websites showed peaceful citizens arguing with police and suddenly being thrown to the ground and attacked with batons, which prompted another protest later that turned ugly.

Rival parties of the ruling New Democracy, who had been criticizing the government’s handling of the pandemic immediately attacked with verbal shots against what they said were “police repression.”

“It wasn’t an accident. The government and (Prime Minister Kyriakos) Mitsotakis wanted this,” said Pavlos Christidis, the spokesman for the Socialist party Movement for Change.

With the number of new cases of COVID-19 still well above 1,000 daily, the Athens area as well as others across Greece are under a strict lockdown and police patrols conduct checks to see if people are keeping social distancing and refrain from traveling unnecessarily.

On the same day of the clashes, police said they conducted 71,177 checks across the country, finding 2,025 violations; 1,627 concerned unauthorized movement, 304 non-wearing of masks and 91 illegal operation of businesses.

The head of the Athens Prosecutor’s Office, Sotiria Papageorgakopoulou, ordered a preliminary investigation into reports of police misconduct during a motorcycle patrol in the neighborhood.

The inquiry has been assigned to the head of Criminal Prosecution, Nikos Ornerakis, who will investigate these claims.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

RELATED

ATHENS - The Greek authority to counter money laundering has ordered the freezing of the personal bank accounts of Father Antonios Papanikolaou, the founder of the children's charity "Kivotos tou Kosmou" (Ark of the World), as well as the accounts of his spouse and family members.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Starts to Erupt, Sending Ash Nearby (Video)

HONOLULU — Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, has started to erupt for the first time in nearly four decades, prompting volcanic ash and debris to fall nearby, authorities said Monday.

NEW YORK — Days after flocking to stores on Black Friday, consumers are turning online for Cyber Monday to score more discounts on gifts and other items that have ballooned in price because of high inflation.

HOUSTON — More than 2 million people in the Houston area were under a boil order notice Monday after a power outage caused low pressure at a water purification plant, officials said.

For Ryan Decker, surviving the holiday shopping season is all about planning ahead.

ATHENS - Greece is rapidly emerging as the key gateway for natural gas in Southeastern Europe, with projects such as the TAP pipeline, the LNG terminal in Revythoussa and the FSRUs in Alexandroupolis, Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said on Monday, addressing the voria.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.