According to Nick Squires In Athens (Greek protests spread with arrests across Europe, The Daily Telegraph, December 11, 2008):
Under questioning by a magistrate, Mr Korkoneas said he had acted out of self defence when a group of youths began throwing firebombs and other objects while threatening to kill him and his partner. His lawyer said the bullet which killed Grigoropoulos showed signs of having bounced off a hard surface, indicating that the boy was killed as a result of an accidental ricochet.
Dunno where Nick Squires In Athens got ‘firebombs’ from. The account on Indymedia (Summary of court pleadings of Epaminondas Korkoneas in police murder of 15 year old youth, nystagmenos, December 11, 2008), for example, states “Korkoneas said that he and his partner were in the patrol car at the intersection of Charilaos Trikoupis and Navarinou Streets when they were attacked by a group of 30 youths who yelled vulgarities at them and threw rocks, sticks, bottles, metal ashtrays, and firecrackers at them.” Maybe Nick Squires In Athens means firecrackers? Anyway, it’s not the most convincing testimony by Korkoneas, especially given the eyewitness testimony already given by others on Greek TV and enjoying widespread public circulation…
Bizarro political analysis from various academic pointyheads is slowly eking its way into the corporate/state sector, most of which is highly entertaining. A few examples:
Andre Gerolymatos, chair of Hellenic studies @ Simon Fraser University in Canada, writes in the Globe & Mail: “The riots have mostly been spearheaded by a core group of approximately 500 so-called hooded ones”; later, the 500 ‘hooded ones’ become “hardcore anarchists (about 200) … concentrated in and around Exarchia, a north-central neighbourhood of Athens that is also home to many drug addicts and dealers”. “The predominant factor for the actions of such young people”, according to our learned friend, “is a sense of hopelessness”. Hence the title of his piece: The young and the hopeless.
Another superb analysis — Why Athens is burning, International Herald Tribune, December 11, 2008 — comes from Stathis N. Kalyvas. “How to make sense of a reaction that appears to be so massively disproportionate?” asks Stathis. I ask: “How many angels fit on the head of a pin?” Stathis disputes Andre’s figures regarding how many yoof carry the anarchist plague, but only slightly. According to the bourgeois intellectual from Yale, Greek anarchists “are led by a hard core of 500 to 1,000 individuals”. More importantly, for Professor Kalyvas, what we have here is failure to communicate; a ‘cultural’ issue. In essence, the young need discipline, and in its absence, fondness for anarchy grows. “Addressing this problem requires nothing less than a deep cultural shift at the top”; one which, it might be suspected, Stathis is quite happy to expedite.