Jailed Greek hunger striker turns down government offer of college correspondence course

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A jailed hunger striker in Greece demanding prison leave to attend lectures at an Athens polytechnic institute has turned down a government offer to grant him a college correspondence course.

The parents of 21-year-old Nikos Romanos said in a statement Thursday that the proposal was "unacceptable" and that he will continue the hunger strike, which started on Nov. 10.

The issue already triggered violent protests by supporters of Romanos, an anarchist serving 15 years for armed robbery and who is now hospitalized in failing health. Doctors say he is only drinking water with added sugar.

Romanos was friends with 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos, who was fatally shot by police on Dec. 6, 2008, triggering riots across Greece. Protests are planned in Athens on Saturday, the sixth anniversary of the shooting.