Greek police clashed with protesters that gathered in central Athens today to mark the second anniversary of the killing of a Greek teenager.
Police used tear gas to disperse crowds during a march of about 2,000 students this morning, said a police spokesman, who declined to be identified in line with policy. Protesters threw rocks and other items at police and damaged stores and bank branches, he said.
A separate march is in progress in downtown Athens, with an estimated 4,000 people, he said. Protesters have set fire to trash cans, he said. There were no reports of injuries or arrests, according to a police spokeswoman.
Authorities shut the city center to traffic today amid plans by students and union groups to mark the death of Alexis Grigoropoulos, 15, who was killed by a policeman in December 2008. The death sparked weeks of protests around the country.
ADEDY, the umbrella group for state workers, held a three- hour work stoppage today from midday to mark the anniversary. University students marching were also protesting against proposed changes to the higher education system, part of reforms unveiled by Prime Minister George Papandreou.
The union group plans a rally in the city for tomorrow to protest the arrival of International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn. ADEDY opposes cuts in wages and pensions that have accompanied the IMF and European Union’s 110 billion-euro ($146 billion) bailout of the country in May.
Police said yesterday they arrested six people and confiscated explosives and weapons including hand grenades and sub-machine guns in overnight raids on houses in Athens and elsewhere in the country. Two of the suspects are linked to a group that claimed responsibility for a spate of mail bombings targeting embassies and European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel last month.
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