A juvenile gang outside a high school in a poverty-stricken neighborhood of Athens battled furiously with brass knuckles and metal poles before being stopped from getting inside to attack other students, officials said, fearing an escalation of trouble.
Violence is spinning out of control in Athens with critics putting the blame on the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused of condoning it in a bid to reestablish Leftist credentials after submitting to international lenders and imposing more austerity.
The battle was in Menidi, where in June, 2017 an 11-year-old boy was killed when a bullet fired into the air in the air came down and hit him during a school assembly to close out the student’s academic year, with police searching nearby gypsy camps but finding no suspects after reports the residents there fled.
Kathimerini said that the trouble outside the high school started with five hooded teenagers, the cloaked preferred uniform of anarchists as well, swinging away with their weapons in an apparent attempt to get inside at rivals.
The school’s principal saw the gang coming and prevented the boys from entering by locking the doors and calling the police, media reports said.
“They were from a different school and had differences with certain students,” the head of the Committee for Secondary Education at Acharnon Municipality, Georgia Efthymiadou, told Antenna TV, saying the incident was a clash between “rival groups.”
The municipal authority’s Deputy Mayor for education, Efstathios Topalidis, indicated it wasn’t that noteworthy because he said these kind of incidents “are typical of Menidi,” which is notorious for gang activity.
Topalidis though said more trouble had been brewing including the recent kidnapping of a pupil from his school and reports of gunshots being exchanged between students but refused to give details.