Court rejects Romanos’s request for educational leave

An Athens court has turned down a request by anarchist and convicted bank robber Nikos Romanos for a furlough to study at a technical college.

Romanos, 21, has been on hunger strike since November 10 after authorities rejected his application for an educational leave since he passed a university entry exam earlier this year. He is currently hospitalized at an Athens clinic.

Government officials on Tuesday suggested that, if the court turned down the request Wednesday, an amendment would be put forward to resolve the issue.

Several shops, three cars and one bus were damaged during a central Athens march in support of Romanos late Tuesday.

Romanos and five others were given jail sentences of 15 to 16 years in October for their part in an armed robbery in Velvento, northern Greece, in February 2013. All were cleared of being part of the urban guerrilla group Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire.

Romanos was a close friend of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, the 15-year-old shot dead by a policeman in Athens, on December 6, 2008. He was with Grigoropoulos when he was murdered, an event that sparked days of rioting in Athens.