Greek riot police were deployed against teenagers who had blocked roads in the centre of Greece's second city, Thessaloniki last night during Carnivali celebrations, the Greek Orthodox equivalent of Mardi Gras.
Hundreds of teenagers burned garbage bins, let off fireworks and hurled objects at the platoons of riot police on duty in the centre of the port city. The officers accompanied fire engines which quickly doused the fires in Mitropoleos St.
Traditionally, Tsiknopempti or "Burnt Thursday" marks the countdown to the start of Lent for Greek Orthodox Christians and is celebrated by fancy dress parties and carnivals across the country. However, the usually raucous atmosphere was more charged than previous years, a reflection that the effects of the riots and protests that swept Greece in December and January following the police shooting of a 15 year old are still being felt.