Greek rioting abates after three days, unrest continues

December 9th, 2008 - 12:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Athens, Dec 9 (DPA) The situation in the Greek capital Athens calmed down early Tuesday after three days of heavy rioting, triggered by the fatal police shooting of a teenager, media reports said, but the unrest was likely to continue.Violence was concentrated in the area around the Polytechnic University, where several dozen hooded youths were still holding out, but police remained on high alert.

A government spokesperson denied reports that a country-wide state of emergency was to be declared.

Late Monday, Athens was ablaze and gripped by chaos while dozens of other cities were crippled for a third straight day by arson and looting in the worst riots in decades.

Thick black smoke, flames and teargas had engulfed central Athens as students set fire to several buildings including the offices of state airline Olympic Airways, the foreign ministry across from Parliament, a luxury department store, Greece’s main law school and two bank headquarters.

Hooded protestors, mostly in their teens, clearly had control of the city by late Monday and were looting stores and taking anything that could be used as a weapon.

Police have arrested more than 50 rioters, while over 100 people were injured in the violence, media reports said.

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis planned to hold an emergency meeting with President Karolos Papoulias and the leaders of Greece’s political parties later Tuesday.

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