Greece's Student Intifadah

How does an affluent First World nation-state go from stability to near social collapse in the space of a week? What prompts a generation characterized by political apathy to flood into the streets? Why does a nouveaux-riche country with a slowing growth rate express its frustration with such violent incoherence? Have we just witnessed the First World's first credit crunch riots?

The rage unleashed by the December riots is the result of years of dissatisfaction over social inequality, poor employment prospects for the young and rising anger with a political system that tolerates two parties switching power between them. "The fish stinks from the head," is a popular Greek expression. "But the rot has spread all the way to the tail," is a popular refrain recently among Greece's disaffected millions. Political conflict has characterised Greece since the formation of the modern state in 1830. First came the protracted War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire and Greece's disastrous invasion of Turkey in 1919. After a harsh Nazi occupation, the 1946-49 Civil War between Communists and Royalists visited deep social polarization and trauma from which Greek society has yet to recover. Seven years of a Washington-backed dictatorship followed.

Finally, a popular rebellion brought down the junta and the monarchy was abolished paving the way for a fragile though often thuggish democracy. The December riots cleaved open Greek society and conjured up social splits unseen in the generation that elapsed since the restitution of the republic. With student mobilizations continuing, how will Greece emerge from this latest crisis?

Greek farce: 'Mother' play satirizes corruption

A corrupt Greek minister tries to sell the Parthenon to the country's powerful Orthodox Church to develop into a casino. An enterprising young reporter reveals the ploy to widespread popular outrage, prompting the minister into a campaign of bribery to try to suppress the story.

Warnings follow Koran incident in Greece

Muslim leaders in Greece are warning authorities of violent protests in the mainly Christian Orthodox nation after an incident in which a policeman reportedly defaced a Koran.

"How can you control enraged 20-year-old Afghans who will hit the streets seeking to die in the name of Allah?" asked Naim al-Ghandour, president of the Muslim Union of Greece.

Mr. al-Ghandour's warning followed demonstrations by Muslims to protest the Koran incident and the attempted arson by suspected far-right activists of a Muslim prayer room.

Anarchist attacks on the rise in Greece

ATHENS -- Anarchy made a spectacular return to Greece this month as explosions struck banks and private businesses and a riot rocked downtown Athens.

Widespread urban guerrilla violence, growing racism toward Greeces 1 million immigrant population and unprecedented disillusionment toward the political class characterize Greek society five months after it experienced its gravest rioting since World War II.

Greece faces a proliferation of new anarchist and anti-establishment terrorist groups, which pose a growing threat to stability, Greek and foreign analysts say.