Wave of Attacks on Greek Banks, New Democracy Offices


(File photo: Eurokinissi/Yiannis Panagopoulos)

ATHENS - In what could signal a change in tactics by anarchists and anti-establishment groups, four attacks were carried out in Greece’s capital in 30 minutes early on Sept. 16, targeting three banks and offices of the new ruling New Democracy.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said his administration would end lawlessness he said was condoned by the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA and that he would clean out the anarchist-dominated neighborhood of Exarchia.

That has seen some clashes there between Molotov Cocktail-tossing anarchists and police who’ve responded in force as they go about emptying abandoned buildings of squatters and rounding up criminals and drug dealers.

Protesters had marched over the weekend in the downtown to demand an end to police going into the neighborhood but there’s been no sign the government will back down and now attacks are being carried on in other areas, with a New Democracy office hit earlier.

The first attack came at 1.35 a.m. in the southern suburb of Alimos, where vandals smashed windows at a bank on the corner of Thoukididou and Grigoriou Afxentiou before doing the same at a branch of the party's youth wing across the street, said Kathimerini.

In Ano Glyfada just a minute later, another group attacked a New Democracy party office on Constantinou Athanatou Street although police didn't say if they thought a series of planned and coordinated assaults were going on.

Then at 1:55 a bank was hit on Kerkyras Street in the central Athens district of Kypseli, while another bank on Formionos Street in Vyronas, east of the city center, was attacked at 2 a.m. SKAI TV said 25 people were taken into custody but it wasn't said if they were arrested.