ATHENS – A demand by anarchist and convicted bank robber Nikos Romanos for a furlough to study at a technical college has been rejected by a Greek court.
Romanos, 21, has been on hunger strike since Nov. 10 in protest after officials said he would not be allowed to leave prison to study at an Athens technical college after he passed the entry exams. He’s being hospitalized for the hunger strike effects.
Government officials had said if the court turned him down that an amendment to the law might be put forward to resolve the issue that has split lawmakers from the ruling parties of New Democracy and PASOK.
Shops, three cars and one bus were damaged during a central Athens march in support of Romanos late on Dec. 2 with his supporters demanding he be allowed to get out of jail for classes although earlier this year a convicted terrorist given a holiday leave walked away and is still at large and threatening more violence.
Romanos and five others were given jail sentences of 15 to 16 years in October for their part in an armed robbery in Velvento, northern Greece, in February 2013. All were cleared of being part of the urban guerrilla group Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire.
Romanos was a close friend of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, the 15-year-old shot dead by a policeman in Athens, on December 6, 2008. He was with Grigoropoulos when he was murdered, an event that sparked days of rioting in Athens.