Greek man shoots two, takes hostages over layoff

ATHENS, March 2 — An unemployed man shot and wounded his former boss and one other worker and took another two hostage at a small factory in Greece in protest at losing his job, police said on Thursday.

He later released the hostages and turned himself over to police after officers surrounded the factory in northern Greece.

Police said the man, a 61-year-old father of two who was laid off about seven months ago, did not harm his captives.

Greeks are growing increasingly desperate as public sector spending cuts, designed to save the country from a debilitating debt crisis, exacerbate a recession now in its fifth year. Rioters last month torched and looted buildings in Athens as Greece's parliament approved austerity measures in order to secure an EU/IMF bailout.

The unnamed man shot his former colleagues with a hunting gun as he forced his way into the factory, which makes waste containers, in the northern town of Komotini, police said. The industrial town has been one of the worst hit in a country where unemployment is running at 21 per cent and rising.

The two injured men were taken to hospital, one shot in the leg, the other hit by shrapnel to the stomach, but neither were seriously injured. — Reuters


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