Greece riots in 4th day. Unions call general strike

Photo from Athens Indymedia. Pg. 1, Pg. 2

Ordinarily, riots burn themselves out after three days. But that’s not happening in Greece, where there have been four days of pitched battles between protesters and police and now unions with millions of members have called a general strike.

For rage at the shooting death of a teenager by police to be this furious indicates tensions there must have already been near the breaking point. The government seems strangely powerless and inept too.

Aljazeera says the rioters primarily are young anarchists, who are organized. The anarchist movement in Greece apparently is sizable, possesses actual political power, and has been battling the police for decades.

Here’s why police aren’t shooting at rioters

The last fatal police shooting of a youth in 1985 sparked months of nearly daily clashes and the left-wing November 17 group bombed a bus full of riot police in retaliation.

But mainstream unions and the public clearly are angry too.

The violence also laid bare a deeper anger that has been gaining ground in Greece over the government’s policies in slashing budget deficits and pushing on with unpopular reforms such as privatisations.

This anger has been exacerbated by a series of financial and political scandals among prominent members of the government of Costas Karamanlis, Greece’s prime minister.