Protesters torch Greek motorway toll booth over price hike
Athens: A group of 500 anti-government demonstrators has set fire to a toll booth on a motorway east of Athens to protest a near-tripling of prices, Greek police said. The announcement last week of the toll hike from 55 cents (USD 0.74), rising to 1.45 euros (USD 1.97) tapped into general rage by Greek motorists who complain that they are paying a high price for roads that are not always properly maintained. Austerity measures hitting Greek citizens are also fuelling the indignation. The demonstrators yesterday blocked the motorway, set fire to tyres and chanted slogans against the government. They dispersed hours later.
Police clash with anti-Front National protesters in Brittany capital
Four protesters were arrested in the western French city of Rennes after clashes between police and opponents of the far-right Front National (FN), which was holding an election meeting in a hall associated with the local labour movement on Saturday evening. About 700 demonstrators turned out to the protest called by unions, left-wing parties and anti-racist groups but police kept them away from the La Cité hall, where Gérard de Mellon, the leading FN candidate in the city in March’s local council elections, was to hold a meeting.
After being pelted with objects by the demonstrators, according to local prefect Patrick Strzoda, the police used water cannon and teargas against the left-wing protesters. Some then went on to try to occupy the headquarters of the FN and the Socialist Party, which controls the local council in the Breton capital and had allowed the meeting to Marine Le Pen’s party to use the venue. The windows of two banks, an estate agent and a police station were broken.