Salonica riot bill to top 1 mln

Thessaloniki residents whose property was damaged in anti-globalization riots staged on June 21 during the European Union summit in Halkidiki are to receive a total of 1 million euros in state compensation, the government promised yesterday. Although thousands of police officers were on duty in the city center, at least 78 shops, banks and apartment block entrances, as well as several parked cars, suffered damage after rioters armed with petrol bombs, stones and broken paving slabs ran amok on the fringe of two demonstrations by left-wing groups, anarchists and anti-globalization protesters. A total of 29 people were arrested. Yesterday, Minister for Macedonia and Thrace Haris Kastanidis said the ministry had already paid for repairs to 36 blocks of flats, 19 cars and most of the battered shops. He also presented a 21,000-euro cheque to three television cameramen whose cameras were damaged. «So far, we have paid some 350,000 euros, and… expect the total to reach 1 million euros,» he said. «It was our moral duty to do so.»