ATHENS – With the new New Democracy government cracking down after the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA let violence spin out of control in Greece’s capital, a prosecutor brought criminal charges of incitement against a leading member of the notorious anarchist group Rouvikonas which has promised a clash with the government.
Giorgos Kalaitzidis was charged after being arrested on July 22 for threatening to expand the group’s protests, which usually involve throwing paint and smashing windows at targets such as foreign embassies and the offices of business associations and multinational firms.
He warned the group would now go after popular tourist spots at the height of the critical summer season with foreign visitors spending the country’s biggest revenue engine and the government dependent on them to help spur recovery from a 9 1/2-year economic crisis.
Kalaitzidis openly made the threat in a post on Facebook, following an attack by Rouvikonas on the Athens headquarters of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) on July 21 where, once again, their favorite symbolic weapon of paint was used.
Two people were arrested and face vandalism charges and Kalaitzidis is also accused of being morally responsible the attack. Rouvikonas, which had rampaged at will during SYRIZA’s reign, kept it up, with its “feminist section” charging into a beauty parlor in the upscale neighborhood of Kolonaki to protest unspecified working conditions.
The group said it would step up actions if Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis goes after them as promised, after he said former premier Alexis Tsipras let the group run amok in a bid to re-establish Leftist credentials after conceding to European creditors to get a third bailout in 2015, for 86 billion euros ($95.86 billion.)