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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-08

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM promises just punishment for teen's death
  • [02] High school children nationwide protest teen's killing by police
  • [03] EFET instructs recall of Irish pork
  • [04] Athens suspends celebrations

  • [01] PM promises just punishment for teen's death

    Those responsible for the death of 15-year-old Alexis Andreas Grigoropoulos will receive the punishment they deserve, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis underlined on Monday. He made the statement as Greece entered the third day of demonstrations and riots in all major cities, held in response to the death of the teenager shot dead by a police officer in Exarhia.

    In statements after a meeting with Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis, Karamanlis condemned extreme behaviour that destroyed the property of innocent citizens and said that he had asked Alogoskoufis to do his utmost to compensate those who suffered damages in the riots, with more specific announcements to be made in a few days.

    The premier went on to express his very deep anguish at the loss of the 15-year-old: "I know that nothing can assuage the pain; life is the supreme boon and its loss cannot be replaced".

    "Let the behaviour of all be the least tribute to the loss of Alexis," he added.

    Karamanlis repeated that the state would not tolerate any leniency in attributing blame and ensuring that those responsible received the punishment they deserved.

    He also emphasised that the state will do everything in its power to prevent such an event occurring again.

    "Everyone has a say and a part of play," the prime minister told reporters concerning the reactions of the political forces and the protests organised by Greek youth and other bodies.

    Karamanlis charged, however, that extremist elements were taking advantage of the event and were proving through their violent behaviour that their only goal was destruction. He noted that the government's obligation was to protect society as a whole, stressing that the things done in response to the tragic event could not be tolerated.

    "The state will protect the citizens," he underlined.

    [02] High school children nationwide protest teen's killing by police

    High school children throughout the country took to the streets in protest on Monday, holding marches and demonstrations over the killing of a 15-year-old boy by police on Saturday night. Many also boycotted classes as a sign of protest over the events over the weekend.

    Reports of protest action organised in schools were coming in from all parts of Greece, while several demonstrations were marked by high tension and one in central Trikala led to scuffles with police in which one student and four policemen were injured, while nine protesting highschool students were brought in for questioning.

    Violence was also reported from the city of Iraklio on Crete, when a march by school children was infiltrated by members of far-left, anti-establishment groups that attacked the local prefecture building with stones and other objects. They then turned their attention to a camera crew, two media vehicles covering the events and policemen in the area and started lobbing stones through shop windows.

    Minor damage to shop windows and banks was also caused by a march held in the centre of the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki by university students and highschool students together, while separate marches were also organised by schools in several districts of the city and the surrounding regions. Dozens of schools in Thessaloniki and Central Macedonia had been taken over by pupils or had boycotted classes.

    In other cities - such as Ioannina, Hania, several schools in Athens and the surrounding suburbs and even in faraway Paphos on Cyprus - highschoolers took to the streets without incident, bearing makeshift signs protesting against the killing of the slain teenager that they had prepared in their schools the same morning.

    Earlier on Monday, the education ministry announced that all high schools around the country will be closed on Tuesday.

    [03] EFET instructs recall of Irish pork

    The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) on Monday called for the withdrawal of all pork meat and by-products originating from Ireland, in the context of its collaboration with the European Commission and the relevant Irish authorities following briefing on Monday of the existence of dioxins in port originating from Ireland and the ecall of all Irish pork in Ireland with slaughter dates from September onward.

    In an announcement, EFET called on "every company that prospectively markets pork meat or pork products originating from Ireland to immedately withdraw those products" to enble conduction of the required testing and to inform EFET and the consumers.

    EFET further called on consumers to refrain from consuming pork or pork products (such as bacon) originating from Ireland, as a precautionary measure.

    EFET said it has commenced the relevant inspections, while all businesses involved in meat and meat product production and marketing have been informed, while there would be further announcements for the public if deemed necessary.

    [04] Athens suspends celebrations

    The City of Athens on Monday suspended all its holiday events in mourning over the death of a 15-year-old pupil in a fracas with police on Saturday night in the Exarhia district of the capital.

    Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis expressed his personal condolences and on behalf of the entire Municipal Council, announcing that all municipal holiday events scheduled and the holiday lighting of the city's central squares and monuments has been suspended until further notice.

    Kaklamanis further expresed his deep sorrow over the violence that once again beleaguered the city's commercial center and economic life of Athens, which he said further burdened the psychology of the market and the worries of the working people.

    The Mayor assured shopowners and residents whose properties suffered damages in the riots that ensued after the youth's death that the municipal services will assist in the efforts to restore the conditions for the speediest possible return to normality demanded by the majority of Athenians hit by the global financial crisis.

    In that direction, Kaklamanis said that he would recommend to the Municipal Council that the merchant shops that suffered damages be excluded from the corresponding municipal taxes in 2009.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Christmas lightnings and celebrations at Syndagma square in central Athens.

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