A fatal stabbing on the streets of Athens that was blamed on foreigners, has sparked an upsurge in attacks on immigrants. Anti-immigration sentiment is practically out of control in this particular area of downtown Athens, giving the far-right ample opportunity to gain further support.
SEVERAL hundred people including neo-Nazis assaulted dozens of immigrants in a working-class part of Athens today after a murder was blamed on foreigners, police said.
Riot police deployed in the Patission district and used tear gas to keep protesters away from a squatter home after the unrest that broke out following the death by stabbing of a man for his video camera.
Shouting “foreigners get out”, the mob earlier attacked immigrants in the street and vandalised at least one foreign-owned shop, police said.
The rampage came after the 44-year-old man was killed early today as he prepared to take his pregnant wife to the maternity hospital.
Three assailants stabbed him as he was getting into his car, police said.
The men, whom witnesses described as foreigners, grabbed the video camera he was carrying to film the birth of his second child.
The murder has reignited claims that police are failing to prevent some parts of Athens from being overrun by drug addicts, prostitutes and illegal immigrants, as well as right-wing vigilantes.
Locals staged a demonstration at the scene of the crime calling for better police protection.
The minister in charge of police expressed his “revulsion” over the murder, but defended the work of the police while calling for a mobilisation of “the entire country” and the city against the problem.