ATHENS – Furious that a seventh furlough for jailed terrorist killer Dimitris Koufodinas was denied, self-styled anarchists attacked a police station with Molotov Cocktails, and splashed paint on the walls of the home of US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt after an earlier assault destroyed the car of a TV reporter.
Koufodinas has been on a hunger strike since May 2 to protest the rejection of another vacation from jail and angry that a room in a hospital where he was taken to be monitored is next to the morgue.
He has been given six furloughs even though the disbanded Nov. 17 terror gang he helped lead killed 23 people, including five attached to the US Embassy over the years. Anarchists who back him have been going on a spree of assaults, earlier targeting high-end luxury stores in a fashionable neighborhood next to their enclave of Exarchia.
Pyatt said in a tweet that the paint attack was “childish vandalism” and that he would work with Greek authorities “to punish the culprits according to law.” He added that, “destruction of property is not peaceful protest.”
Greece’s Foreign Ministry also condemned the attack, saying it was an “unacceptable and irresponsible act that will however not harm the friendship and increasingly broad cooperation between our two countries.”
Anarchist and far-left groups often carry out vandalism attacks at the homes or offices of diplomats and politicians in Athens, usually by throwing paint. I wasn’t clear whether the assault was due to Tsipras reneging on pledges to rid Greece of an American military presence, which is now expanding, and as he didn’t take Greece out of NATO as he vowed.
The US, which tweeted denunciation of furloughs for Koufodinas, has said that relations between the countries now are better than ever, ironically after the former anti-American SYRIZA regime.
A demonstration in support of Koufodinas was held earlier on the evening of May 14 and the anarchists assault on the police precinct in the eastern suburb of Kaisariani happened just before 4 a.m. news reports said. Gas canister bombs were also thrown at police.
A police officer who was on duty at the time sustained minor head injuries when one of the canister bombs went off inside his guard box, said Kathimerini. The incident happened after police said they would
The incident resulted in a police officer who had been on duty at the time of the attack sustaining minor head injuries as one of the gas canister bombs went off inside his guard box.
LIVES AT RISK
The union representing Greece’s police guards put out a statement that officers lives were being disregarded by the state after critics said the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has been condoning unstoppable attacks in a bid to reestablish Leftist credentials after giving into the country’s creditors and imposing more austerity.
The police said the government is going easy on Koufodinas and his supporters with no reports of any major arrests or detentions. “The state and justice are being crudely blackmailed,” the statement added.
The top hierarchy of the police department met at Athens Police Headquarters to plan how to combat the growing lawlessness and countermeasures to the potential for more trouble of Koufodinas continues his strike as he said he would “to the end.”
About 700 people are estimated to have participated in the march through central Athens. After its completion, several people walked towards Emmanouil Benaki Street near the district of Exarchia and hurled petrol bombs at the party’s offices.
The Exarchia offices of the now-defunct former PASOK Socialists office was also hit with firebombs although police had just said they would put a defensive ring around the neighborhood dominated by anti-establishment groups.
A car belong to Open Beyond TV police reporter Mina Karamitrou, which had been parked outside her home in the Athens suburb of Papagou, was totally destroyed. The station, ironically, is owned by billionaire Russian-Greek ivan Savvidis, who is close to Tsipras.
Savvidis also is owner of the PAOK soccer team in Thessaloniki which won the Greek league championships and as he had celebrated the victory in the open despite having an arrest warrant against him for more than a year after he ran onto the field of his home stadium during a game, carrying a gun, to protest a referee’s decision.
(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)