Greek police fire tear gas at protesters in Athens

December 6, 2011 15:17

ATHENS - Greek police fired tear gas on Tuesday at dozens of black-clad protesters in Athens who hurled Molotov cocktails and stones, while hundreds marched to parliament to mark the 2008 shooting of a student by police.

That killing sparked the country's worst riots in decades.

Turnout was smaller at Tuesday's march compared to similar protests in previous years, but degenerated into a familiar pattern of violence as youths wearing masks pelted police with petrol bombs and broken-off pieces of pavement.

Two people suffered minor injuries, police said.

Minor clashes erupted between demonstrators and police in other parts of Athens and in the northern city of Thessaloniki as well. Protesters chanted slogans against unpopular financial austerity measures and held up banners like "Social Revolution Now" as they marched to parliament.

Since Greece's debt crisis began in 2009, austerity-hit Greeks have staged protests that often turn violent, with police and young demonstrators clashing outside parliament.

In 2008, thousands of people battled police after 15-year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos was shot dead. They trashed shops, attacked public buildings and burned cars, making central Athens look like a war zone for weeks.

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