Greek PM Rejects Early Elections Calls after Week of Riots

World | December 13, 2008, Saturday // 00:00

Greece's Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has rejected calls for an early general election after a week of violent unrest that rocked the country over a fatal police shooting, BBC reported Saturday.

Speaking at an EU summit in Brussels, the conservative leader said that Greece needed a steady hand at a time of economic crisis.

"At this time the country faces a serious financial crisis... A steady hand on the helm is needed to deal with it. That is my concern and the concern and the priority of the government, and not scenarios about elections and successions," he told reporters.

The calls for early elections came from the leader of Greece's socialist opposition, George Papandreou. They were based on the statements claiming that public confidence in the government has been shaken by the riots.

Meanwhile, masked rioters have again confronted police in central Athens, throwing stones and petrol bombs before being dispersed by police with tear gas.

The protests were triggered by the killing of the teenager Alexandros Grigoropoulos, 15, last Saturday. The boy was hit by a police bullet.

The officer who fired the shot says the fatal wound came from a ricocheting bullet.

Ballistics tests have not yet been published and the Grigoropoulos family has hired an independent pathologist to study the case to ensure there is no cover-up.

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