Arson attacks make it a fiery start to 2009

Arsonists attacked more than 20 banks and businesses in Athens and Thessaloniki during New Year’s celebrations early on Thursday. Over a period of two hours, six bank branches, two ATMs, four car dealerships and five parked cars in various parts of Athens were attacked with Molotov cocktails. There were no injuries reported. In Thessaloniki, firebombs caused damage to six shops, a department store and five bank branches. Two parked cars and 30 dumpsters were also set on fire. Nobody was injured in any of the incidents which occurred just before midnight and up to half an hour afterward. Despite the series of arson attacks, the Christmas tree in Syntagma Square survived unscathed, even though some online bookmakers had been accepting bets on it being razed for a second time.

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