NEWS

15 held after Carnival riot

Fifteen youths, mainly students from Athens, will be charged today with causing extensive damage to shops, banks and cafes in the center of Patras during street riots on Sunday night and early yesterday following the end of the western Peloponnesian city’s annual Carnival festivities. It is unclear what caused the rampage, which started on Sunday night after the ceremonial burning of the Carnival king’s effigy with which the Patras Carnival celebrations – a mainstream event that attracts thousands of visitors from all over Greece every year – officially came to an end. Earlier in the day, thousands of merrymakers had paraded through the city streets in Carnival attire. Hours later, groups of youths smashed up cafe tables and chairs in Georgiou Square before setting fire to them. They proceeded to storm through the city center, throwing stones at shop windows, banks, lighting fires in trash bins and burning a van. At least 15 shops were damaged before riot police managed to restore order, using tear gas. Five officers were lightly injured.