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Menidi: Molotov cocktails in Roma houses after stray bullet kills school boy (video)

Situation in Menidi got out of control on Saturday afternoon, when a group of people wearing hoods threw molotov cocktail bombs in houses belonging to the Roma community of the area. The hoodies got mingled in a peaceful demonstration launched by locals, after a stray bullet in a nearby school killed an 11-year-old boy.

The hoodies got reportedly angry when they saw camera crews filming. They pushed away reporters and injured a camera man of state ERT TV with an iron bar.

Star TV said that its 3-men crew was attacked and injured by those wearing hoods.

Tension has been high in Menidi suburb of  Western Athens after the tragic incident on Thursday evening. Residents demand from police and authorities to crack down criminality in the area, speak of drug trafficking and massive possession of weapons and firearms.

Angry residents threatened to take the law in their hands, and report of other incidents in the past where children were injured by stray bullets.

At the protest on Saturday, they were holding banners reading “Enough is enough” and “Tomorrow Who?”

Estimated 1,500 people participated in the protest.

“We are not racists, we are not against the Roma but we are against criminality and breaking the law,” a resident told ERT TV.

Police suspected that the stray bullet came from a rifle during some celebration in the Roma settlement. Apparently a common phenomenon in the area: to fire int the air during celebrations.

On Saturday morning, strong police forces raided several Roma houses in the settlement which is located next to the city of Menidi. Police confiscated weapons and drugs, detained more than 30 people, arrested 3 for drugs and 5 to 6 for illegal weapons possession.

Among the arrested is a 23-year-old Roma man who has reportedly confessed that he fired in the air on Thursday evening. His home is near the school where the tragedy happened.

Read also: Stray bullet kills 11-year-old boy during celebrations to end school year

According to media, there was a feast in this home on Thursday, Roma families were celebrating that two female family members arrested for heroine and cocaine trafficking were not taken in custody.

Police did not find any gun or rifle in the house, but several cartridges fro a 9mm caliber gun and a rifle in the house yard.The arrested 23-year-old Roma is to appear before the judge on Tuesday, ERT reported.

These houses raided by police became the target of the Molotov cocktail bombs.

The boy, 11-year-old Marios, was buried on Saturday morning.

Minister for Public Order Nikos Toskas said that the “problem  [of criminality] in the area cannot be solved with police operation.”

Unions and local associations call for a silent protest next Tuesday demanding better living conditions for the low-income residents of the west Athens suburbs.

PS The Greek state has never dealt seriously with the Roma communities in the country, the absence of integration policies has been going on for ages.

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7 comments

  1. “The absence of integration has been going on for years.” Wait a minute. So, it is the Greek State’s fault, that this all happens? You know what: Here, in our Dimos, the elementary schools do many, many efforts to take the gypsies in, take extra care, offer extra lessons (many of the things are also done by the schools).

    For example, there was this one girl, extremely bright. When the time for lykeo came, she was strongly encouraged by everybody to continue. She never showed up again at school. Some month later, she was seen by one of her ex-teachers, pregnant. Her parents with her, they blocked the teacher off, even talking to the girl.

    They don’t want it.

  2. keeptalkinggreece

    generalizing does not to add anything. I happen to know a few who are fully integrated.

  3. You are proving me right. Who wants to be integrated, will be. Also without any “integration program” by the state. The ones who do not want, will never be. As the family of the named girl

  4. keeptalkinggreece

    and? they have a different culture. as the many not integrated having many children secures support in older days. on the other hand it’s understandable they are unwilling to integrate out of mistrust to state as such. after all the persecutions they have suffered.

  5. aren’t there enough unsuccessful gypsy integration programs up north already? the majority of gypsies is unwilling to accept civilised ways of living and this won’t change regardless of how much money you waste on them.

  6. the miniszer is correct. police action will not stop this. people’s own action will do. the molotov coctail was just the first step, more to come. just take a look around…

  7. King of the hill

    Greece is far from Hungary but the problem is the same here with the gipsies. Integration programs for lots of money are all worthless. These are not civilized nor want to be civilized.
    99% of the gipsies are worthless violent criminals who should be treated the way they have been treated in Menidi.