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Greek Riots

DW staff (dc)December 8, 2008

After a brief period of calm, fresh riots erupted in the Greek city of Salonika in a third day of unrest sparked by the police shooting of a teenager. Demonstrators also gathered at the Greek consulate in Berlin.

Demonstrators at the Greek embassy in Berlin
Protesters stormed into the Greek embassy in BerlinImage: picture-alliance/dpa

Around 300 students attacked cars and shops in the center of Salonika on Monday, Dec. 8, according to reports from the AFP news agency.

A reporter said the clashes broke out near a police station in Greece's second-largest city. Salonika had also seen unrest on Sunday, and its universities have been ordered to close for two days.

Initial reports on Monday morning suggested that violent protests in Athens and Thessaloniki over the shooting death Saturday night of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos had ceased after riot police clashed with demonstrators in overnight battles.

Protests carry over to Berlin

In Berlin, a group of around 15 demonstrators occupied the Greek consulate on Monday to protest Grigoropoulos' killing.

Demonstrators in Thessaloniki
Protests in Athens and Thessaloniki turned violent over the weekendImage: AP

Embassy spokesman Pantelis Pantelouris told news agency DPA that the group barged their way into the reception area of the building. A female protester said the action was directed at the Greek state, which she said bore responsibility for the teenager's death.

Police said negotiations were underway with the demonstrators in the consulate.

Officer charged with murder

In Athens, Greek authorities have charged a 37-year-old police officer with murder over the shooting, which occured in the capital's volatile central Exarchia district.

Health Ministry officials said Grigoropoulos was shot in the left side of the chest and died before reaching a state hospital.

The Police Officer's Association has apologized to the boy's family, and President Karolos Papoulias sent a telegram to his parents expressing his condolences.