ATHENS, Greece - Protesters took to the streets of Athens for the seventh day yesterday, vowing to maintain pressure on the government with both peaceful demonstrations and violent clashes.
Youths pelted riot police with rocks and firebombs. Colleagues saved one officer who was covered in blazing gasoline. He was unhurt.
Demonstrators in France, Germany and Turkey put on shows of support for the Greek protests, which erupted when police killed a teenager but now seem to be driven in part by economic discontent.
There is a widening gap between rich and poor in the country. Graduates have poor job prospects, and the government is making painful changes to the pension system.
"This rage is spreading because the underlying causes remain," left-wing politician Leonidas Kyrkos said.
Beleaguered Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis ruled out early elections, saying from Brussels, Belgium, that Greece needed a steady hand to steer it through the global financial crisis.
"We must make a very clear distinction between the overwhelming majority of the Greek people who of course have every right to express their sorrow at the death of a young boy, and the minority of extremists who take refuge in acts of extreme violence," he said.
Dozens of people have been treated in hospitals during the unrest, sparked last Saturday by the killing of a 15-year-old. The level of violence has abated, but tear gas and the smoke from burned cars still hang in the air in central Athens.
"Financial targets are being attacked, like banks, to prove a point of economic oppression," said Constantinos Sakkas, 23, a protest organizer. ". . . Some people hardly have enough to eat."
In Paris, 300 demonstrators gathered outside the Greek Embassy. Some scuffled with police, shouting, "Police, pigs, everywhere!"
Some cautioned that riots could explode in France, too, saying that French students and laborers were struggling to find decent work.