A 65-year-old taxi driver died early on Sunday after being robbed and beaten by three assailants who hailed his cab in the district of Kypseli, near central Athens. The victim, a retired policeman who reportedly had been working as a taxi driver to supplement his dwindling monthly pension payments, died shortly after his transfer to the hospital.
It remained unclear whether his death was caused by the beating or from a heart attack.
Attacks on taxi drivers in Athens quadrupled last year compared to 2009, according to police statistics which also point to a sharp rise in other forms of crime ranging from the petty to violent attacks.
Many of the violent attacks in the center of Athens are attributed by police to organized crime rackets.