ATHENS – The notorious Greek anarchist group Rouvikonas continued its unstoppable spree, this time throwing paint and smashing windows of an office of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis tied to an alleged political scandal.
About 30 people were involved in the attack at early morning attack on Feb. 25, police said but no injuries were reporting, Reuters reported.
In an Internet statement the group said the attack was aimed at the company after Parliament voted to look into unfounded allegations that 10 rival politicians of the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA had taken up to 50 million euros ($61.59 million) to help the company fix prices and control the flu shot market in Greece.
But the case file could be sent back to prosecutors who said it’s based on information from three secret witnesses but that there was no credible evidence yet and came amid charges by the targets it was a conspiracy directed by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to manufacture a fake scandal to shore up his fall in the polls.
Novartis said that it condemns any act of violence and urged Greek authorities to guarantee its employees’ safety. “We are particularly worried following the attack,” Novartis Hellas said in a statement.
“Novartis vehemently condemns any act of violence and blackmail or any destructive act. We call on Greek authorities to condemn the incident and safeguard our people’s safety, their protection is our priority,” it added.
The company said it would take “fast and decisive action” if an investigation proceeds and finds any wrongdoing.
Rouvikonas has continually embarrassed the government, earlier getting onto grounds of the Parliament, Defense Ministry and embassies, including an assault on the Israeli Embassy.
In a statement posted on an anti-establishment website later, Rouvikonas described their January assault on the Finance Ministry, calling it the “lair of the plutocrat minister… the place where incomes, pensions and people’s lives are slaughtered,” referring to Tsipras’ Radical Left SYRIZA breaking anti-austerity vows.
Rouvikonas said it will step up its targets and now go hard after Greek notaries for conducting property foreclosures. “Wherever they are, whoever they are, we will find them,” another warning after breaking into one notary’s office and vandalizing it.
FILE – Rouvikonas’ members threw paint and smashing windows of an office of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, Feb. 25, 2018. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Yiannis Panagopoulos)
Rouvikonas is responsible for dozens of acts of vandalism against perceived targets, including state offices, financial agencies, media organizations and businesses.
Greek police recently said they were closing in on the group amid criticism that the government won’t allow it as SYRIZA is riddled with anarchists as well as terrorist sympathizers.
Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas, who critics said had ignored Rouvikonas attacks, stepped up the probe after the Israeli embassy was hit with a paint assault, promising his personal intervention. Reports said he wants the members finally prosecuted and facing more serious charges.