Greece Calm After 8 Days of Riots

Athens was calm Sunday after eight days of the worst riots Greece has seen in decades, sparked by the police killing of a teenager.

No demonstrations were planned for Sunday. In Athens, traffic returned to normal in the center of town and an open-topped double-decker bus carried tourists round the city's main sights.

Greek youths who have protested daily since the boy's death are angry not just at the police but at an increasingly unpopular government and over economic issues.

Overnight, youths attacked a police station, stores and banks and fought running battles with police, as candlelit vigils were being held to mark a week since the shooting.

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Several hundred protesters set up burning barricades and attacked police with rocks and flares. Riot police fired tear gas and chased the youths through parts of the city. The protesters chanted "murderers out" and used laser pointers to target officers for attack.

Violence has wracked Greece every day since the death of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos. The riots in cities throughout the country have left at least 70 people injured. Hundreds of stores have been smashed and looted, and more than 200 people have been arrested.

While most of the protesters have been peaceful, the tone of the demonstrations has been set by a violent fringe. And more young people have been willing to join those fringe elements than in the past.

A poll Sunday found that most Greeks see more in the violence than a simple reaction to the shooting.

Asked whether the riots were a social uprising, 60 percent responded yes. Some 64 percent considered police were unprepared for the violence.

The poll of 520 people published in the Kathimerini newspaper gave a 4.5 percent margin of error.

The young protesters promised to remain on the streets until their concerns — including opposition to the increasingly unpopular government and worry over economic issues — are addressed.

"Speaking as an anarchist, we want to create those social conditions that will generate more uprisings and to get more people out in the streets to demand their rights," said 32-year-old protester Paris Kyriakides.

"In the end, the violence that we use is minimal in comparison to the violence the system uses, like the banks," Kyriakides said.