ATHENS – Thirteen years after the center of Athens burned with fires and protests for two weeks after a 15-year-old Greek boy was shot dead by a police officer, the scene saw less violent demonstrations to mark the anniversary.
The 2008 killing of Alexis Grigoropoulos set off the worst riots the Greek capital had seen in decades, including firebombs, anarchists clashing with police squads and mass looting and vandalism and cars burned.
Epaminondas Korkoneas, the former officer sentenced to 13 years in jail for the killing was released in 2019 after serving 11 years, getting a pass under a leniency law passed by the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA.
He and another officer were jailed in connection with the killing, which followed an altercation between a group of youths and one of the officers in the anarchist stronghold of Exarchia, where a memorial to Grigoropoulos remains.
This year, several thousand people also staged a protest march in Athens late on Dec. 6, which ended peacefully. Minor clashes ensued when youths threw stones at police and there was an earlier march by schoolchildren and university sudents that was peaceful, said Euronews.
There were protests this time too in Greece’s second-largest city Thessaloniki in the north but no arrests or injuries were reported although police had to fire tear gas to break up youths attacking them with firebombs and stones, the report added.
No arrests or injuries were reported after the clashes, which did not last long. They followed an otherwise peaceful march by about 6,000 people.
In Athens, some dumpsters were set on fire and firebombs, rocks and other objects were thrown at riot police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades but not on the scale seen in 2008.
Three people were arrested and 11 detained by the police during the rally, all of them minors found in possession of Molotov Cocktails.