Lismore man watches on as Greek tragedy unfolds
ATHENS is burning in the background while a gang of dark-haired youths rampage through the streets, setting cars alight and throwing Molotov cocktails which burst through shop windows.
Everywhere masked looters see an opportunity and go for it.
These are the scenes of his home country Harry Crethar has been watching on TV for more than three days from the safety of his Goonellabah home. “It's anarchy,” he said.
Mr Crethar, who migrated to Australia from Greece more than 60 years ago, said Greece had not seen such turmoil since World War II.
“People were dying in the streets from hunger and getting shot by the Germans,” he said.
Mr Crethar said the underlying cause of the rioting was poverty.
“The Government has no money. People have no money,” he said.
Mr Crether said that since Greece joined the European Community in 1981, the cost of living had skyrocketed and the Government was passing the buck for the country's problems.
The shooting of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos in Athens by a police officer five days ago triggered rioting across the country which has engulfed cities from Thessaloniki in the north to the holiday islands of Corfu and Crete in the south.
Calls for the leader of the country's increasingly unpopular conservative government, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, to resign have increased since the riots started.