ATHENS – While the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA condemned the bombing outside the offices of the SKAI TV headquarters, station officials said the party has made it it a target by ignoring repeated complaints about threats.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s party had also said that the station is anti-SYRIZA and won’t allow its members to be interviewed on the station, which is in the same building as the English edition of the newspaper Kathimerini along Athens’ coast.
“The terrorist attack we suffered early this morning will not affect us; we will not be blackmailed, we are not afraid, we are not terrorized, as we have proven for many years,” a statement from SKAI read.
“The state, that has the obligation to encourage the variety of voices and to protect the security of the mass media and their workers, has gone deaf to our repeated complaints about threats against SKAI.
“Unfortunately SKAI has become a target in the last few years. Government officials and propaganda mechanisms have made a target out of our station. After today’s dramatic development, they need to understand the gravity and the full dimension of their inflammatory statements,” the broadcaster concluded.
In a separate statement SKAI employees said, “This is not the first time Skai has become a target; it has also happened several times in the past by multiple centers and with different objectives every time, but without bending at all the professionalism of the 500 employees of the group.”
Unidentified sources from the counter-terrorism unit of police spoke of at least five kilos of explosives, with the impact causing damage as high as the fifth floor of the building on the Faliro seafront, opposite the Peace and Friendship Stadium where events for the 2004 Athens Olympics were hosted.
The major opposition New Democracy Conservatives, with a big lead in polls, had repeatedly said SYRIZA and Tsipras were condoning growing violence and lawlessness in a bid to re-establish Leftist credentials after surrendering to international creditors to get a third bailout in 2015, this one for 86 billion euros ($97.44 billion).
But New Democracy also is boycotting the state-run ERT national broadcaster and bars its members from being interviewed there, claiming the station is anti-New Democracy.
The attack was outside the building, unlike the terrorist assault on the Paris offices of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 in which 12 people were killed and shootings inside a Maryland newspaper in June this year that killed five people.