Athens Dodges Violence Before Fresh Protests

Students have called for new wave of demonstrations
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Dec 15, 2008 1:54 AM CST
Protesters throw missiles at Greek riot police officers on a street in Athens on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
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(Newser) – Athens yesterday enjoyed its first respite from eight days of continuous rioting that has injured 70 and put 400 behind bars—but students have called for a new wave of protests, BBC reports. Cafes were busy and traffic returned to normal just a day after students hurled rocks and molotov cocktails at police, AP reports. A peaceful vigil was held for the 15-year-old whose shooting death by police sparked the upheaval. But protests are expected to resume today.

Polls suggest Greeks see the protests more as an uprising than as a reaction to the police shooting. The government is "wasting away, collapsing and dissolving into a dead-end; its political time is finished," said the leader of an opposition party. A union official predicted the unrest will grow as the population continues to suffer the effects of the declining economy.