Leftist groups on Saturday evening attacked police and vandalized banks and shops, demonstrating against the opening of Golden Dawn offices in Xanthi, northeastern Greece.
Hundreds of demonstrators had gathered on Saturday evening in the center of Xanthi to protest the opening of new offices of extreme rightist party Golden Dawn. Riot police had formed a line to hold protesters away from the office building.
According to Athens News Agency, about 300 people from leftist groups, unionists, party youths and anarchists had gathered at the city’s central square, 200 meters from the offices of Golden Dawn.
Originally they tried to break the police line, then they attacked the policemen with molotov cocktails and rocks, they then caused damage to nearby stores and a bank ATM.
Street fights continued in surrounding streets with police resorting to the use of tear gas to break the scattered crowd of protesters. Soon the city center turned into a battlefield with anarchists throwing fire bombs and rocks at police, setting fire to trash containers and breaking shop windows.
Earlier there had been a peaceful demonstration under the offices of Golden Dawn with protesters carrying placards and shouting anti-fascist slogans. Four SYRIZA MPs, unionists, students and local citizens rallied outside the party offices without any violent incidents occuring.