Nine arrested and charged during Saturday's incidents at TIF opening

Nine people arrested during clashes between demonstrators and police in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki were placed under arrest and led before a public prosecutor in the city on Sunday.
Most were charged with possession of weapons and other potentially dangerous items during the protests held outside the Vellidio conference centre and the site of the 76th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Saturday night, when Prime Minister George Papandreou was delivering the traditional annual speech on the economy given each year by Greek premier's at TIF.
A total of 93 individuals were detained by authorities during Saturday night's incidents as a precautionary measure, most of whom were later released.
Bank branches in the area and the entrance of the Thessaloniki Officers Guard Club suffered minor damage during the incidents, mainly due to thrown objects.
According to police there were no injuries but protestors reported that ambulances were called in and took some 10 demonstrators to hospital, some of them suffering from respiratory problems as a result of the heavy use of tear gas in the area.
Teams of workers from the Thessaloniki municipality and the fire brigade were sent out overnight to clear the streets and pavements of debris and burnt-out dumpsters.
Clashes between police and various groups that were demonstrating outside the site of TIF continued until late into the night. Groups of protestors attacked riot police guarding the site with stones and other objects, while police responded with heavy use of tear gas and chemicals to disperse the crowds.
Tension started to rise from 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, when taxi owners attack police outside the south gate of TIF facilities, while the trouble later moved to a nearby square, when riot police clashed with youths throwing stones and, later, petrol bombs.

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