Rouvikonas Anarchists Strike Again, Hit Tax Office

FILE - Members of anarchist group Rouvikonas protest outside the Greek parliament against a court decision upholding the conviction two people on terrorism charges. Photo: Eurokinissi/Giorgos Kontarinis

ATHENS – The roaming anarchist band called Rouvikonas, which has struck at political parties and austerity symbols, on Oct. 5 barged into a tax office in Neo Psyhico, a northern suburb, scattered flyers and were said to have vandalized the property.

Police were called to the scene in an affluent neighborhood, Kathimerini said but got there too late to apprehend any of the culprits.

Rouvikonas (Rubicon in Greek) has taken responsibility for dozens such “raids” on state offices and private businesses.

In July, Following a spate of attacks against shops and even a breach of Parliament security by anarchist groups, major rival New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led government is providing cover for them.

He said his party will demand a written explanation from Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis from SYRIZA with details as to how members of the Rouvikonas group, which has conducted a number of assaults in protests against austerity and the government, got into the courtyard.

The group was later released, a common practice after clashes between police and anarchists and with stepped-up criticism that SYRIZA, riddled with anarchist and terrorist sympathizers in the midst of its hard core of Stalinists, Maoists, Leninists, Communists and Trotskyites, is condoning the violence because it wants to get back hardcore supporters who left after Tsipras reneged on anti-austerity promises.

“Rouvikonas is the same group that marched through Exarchia with Kalashnikovs. We cannot be indifferent and the parliamentary speaker cannot just look the other way,”  Mitsotakis told SKAI radio on July 28.

“I will send a letter and ask for a written explanation about what happened. There is an infuriating tolerance of anarchist groups that have taken over Exarchia,” he said

The protesters were cornered by police and briefly detained while Voutsis communicated with Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas, who said the anarchists are systematically being identified but then didn’t explain why they are not charged when caught after incidents.

ON THE RAMPAGE

Seemingly unstoppable, the anarchist group Rouvikonas is directing more attacks at government and establishment symbols, and in March broke into the office of a company that collects apartment building maintenance fees,causing damage, officials said.

The group threw flyers around the office on Psarron Street in Omonia on March 22 before leaving the premises and later posting online it was angry that the home of a family had been seized after it was unable to pay a 3,870-euro ($4170) debt to the company.

Two days earlier, the group smashed its way into the office of the Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE) where a top executive, with most people seeing big pay and pension cuts during austerity measures, gave himself a promotion and retired to get an additional 100,000 euro ($107,770) retirement bonus on top of his big lump sum and monthly package.

According to reports, the assailants smashed windows, threw paint and damaged a car parked outside.

In a statement posted on an anti-establishment website, the group said it carried out the attack in protest at ADMIE executives being granted salary hikes while thousands of families have been deprived of electricity due to their inability to pay their bills.

COLLEGE TARGET

Earlier in March, the gang forced its way into the head office of the Athens Law School in central Athens and said it was protesting cancellation of an event and called on the government to grant a furlough to convicted terrorist Dimitris Koufodinas, a leading member of the now defunct urban terror group November 17 who is serving a life sentence.

Other recent targets included a notary office responsible for helping banks foreclosure on homes, another promise broken by Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras who vowed to help the country’s most vulnerable before he imposed more austerity, including an avalanche of tax and utility bill hikes.