Clashes in Athens during Condoleezza Rice's visit to Greece

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

File picture of Secretary Rice with President Bush

Greek leftist groups of masked youth demonstrators clashed with Greek police and riot squads in Stadiou Avenue, in Athens, during American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's meetings with Greek officials. Anarchist mobs hurled Molotov cocktail bombs and the police-riot squads fired tear gas. According to police information, the youths smashed some 20 store fronts and set six vehicles alight.

Police had thrown a cordon around central road arteries of the city since Tuesday morning, while two street protests - organized by the KKE and Synaspismos leftist parties - were staged at Propylea on Panepistemiou Street as well as on Klafthmonos Square. Moreover, yesterday, a team of about 15 members of the Greek Communist party, climbed on the top of Athens' Concert Hall, just meters away from the U.S. Embassy, in order to hang a huge banner with the message "Condoleezza Rice go Home".

In her short stay in Greece, America's chief diplomat met with the Greek Premier Costas Karamanlis in Maximus Palace as well as with her counterpart, the Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyiannis. The agenda of their discussions included Iran's nuclear program, the Greek-Turkish relations, the Cyprus and Macedonian issues as well as the co-operation between the United States and Greece.