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Widespread Protests Continue in Greece


Demonstrations and protests over the death of a Greek teenager, who was shot by a police officer on Saturday, have continued throughout Greece and even spread to foreign capitals like London, Nicosia and Berlin.

Four days after the shooting, the protests show no sign of abating.

Angry crowds gathered outside the parliament in the center of Athens - the gathering climaxed as the funeral was held for the teenager whose death has sparked the nationwide rioting.

Thousands of mourners also attended his funeral in the south of Athens, with police officers having to be brought in from cities from across the region to help control the crowds.

Security forces used tear gas to disperse the stone-throwing protesters, many of whom vowed to continue their protests.

All television and radio networks broadcast the funeral and many commentators said they anticipated more violence in the coming days.

Harris Tzanis, a reporter with the Athens News Agency, told VOA News that such incidents had not been seen in Greece for decades and were a source of major concern.

"People are really uneasy, there is queasiness in the air - if that makes any sense. This caused unprecedented - you know we keep using this word, but there is really no way around it, unprecedented violence - street violence, urban violence in the country. We have never seen that before," he said.

The prime minister earlier held emergency talks with the president, while the main opposition party has demanded that the government resign.

Socialist opposition leader George Papandreou said the government has lost the Greek people's trust and called for snap elections to be held.

This woman summed up the feelings of many Greeks who have lost all confidence in the government.

"I do not expect anything - I want change," she said.

Tzanis said what had shocked most citizens in Greece, a country which is no stranger to violence, was the level of unrest and the uncertainty about the future.

"The violence here in Athens is actually 10 times worse than we have seen it before," said Tzanis.

Scuffles and minor demonstrations were also reported across Europe. In Cyprus, hundreds of students gathered to protest, with police saying they arrested four people.

Greece's ongoing instability has sparked public discontent at the country's recent economic slump and rising unemployment levels.

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