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Society

Greek Anarchists Step Up Attacks, Target SYRIZA Office, Universities

March 16, 2018

ATHENS – More violence by anarchists who said they are acting in solidarity with jailed terrorists and suspects has fueled fears in Greece’s capital of escalation after 12 tied to the group Rouvikonas were arrested and the German consulate on Greece was attacked.

The dozen being detained are set to stand trial on a wide range of charges, including causing damage to foreign-owned property, disturbing the peace, and violent conduct in a three-year spree beginning in 2015, said Kathimerini.

They have reportedly been tied to assaults on property including vandalizing the wall surrounding the German Ambassador’s home in Athens, as well as the premises of the Saudi Arabian Embassy and a Larissa courthouse, among others.

The investigation into the activities of the group was started after an order in October by a Supreme Court prosecutor. The group reportedly launched 28 attacks in 2015, 16 in 2016 and 43 last year.
That came as attacks by anti-establishment groups, who have sympathizers in the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who hasn’t denounced the wave of violence, appear emboldened and stepped up their acts.

Masked men threw red paint at University of Piraeus Professor Mary Bossi, an anti-terrorist expert after breaking up a lecture she was giving, scattering fliers and later claiming on an anti-establishment website it was done to protest the “persecution of anarchists as individual terrorists.”
“After strengthening the anti-terrorism laws, the SYRIZA government desperately, blatantly and hypocritically went on to try and show that it is on the side of the innocents being persecuted by the monster the government itself has created,” another post on the same website claimed.

UNIVERSITY ATTACKS

Bossi told the newspaper that the attack wasn’t serious, calling it a “social intervention” that was getting too much attention although professor’s offices at other universities, and professors have also been targeted.

“Such phenomena have no place either in society or on university grounds,” the Education Ministry said. Leftist SYRIZA meanwhile issued a statement, condemning the attack. “Acts of this kind are an affront against state universities and pave the way for authoritarian thinking favoring privatization,” it said.

Opposition New Democracy blamed Education Minister Costas Gavroglou noting that the attack during a lecture “confirms that the situation at universities is out of control,” with lawlessness having increased so much and so fast that Tsipras had to quickly state that his party wasn’t soft on crime as rivals charged.

The attack on Bossi came just a few days after self-styled anarchists vandalized the rector’s offices at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, assaulted a professor at the capital’s Panteion University and occupied the rector’s office at the University of Athens.

The union representing Greek university academics said the assailants were set on “terrorizing university communities, curbing free speech and … essentially abolishing the university asylum that they invoke and ostensibly champion.”

In another incident, vandals smashed windows at two banks on central Athens’s Kaningos Square, apparently in response to a police operation earlier in the week to clear out three anarchist squats in the city center, the paper said.

In Thessaloniki, another group suspended a banner from the window of SYRIZA’s third-floor offices on the corner of Aristotelous and Egnatia streets, expressing support for jailed anarchist suspects identified in the Greek media as Irianna and Pericles.

That came after hooded hooligans claiming to be acting against the “establishment” staged multiple attacks on various targets in Athens and Thessaloniki.

Members of anti-establishment groups barged into the German Consulate in Iraklio on the island of Crete on March 16 and hung a banner from its balcony with slogans of solidarity to the city of Afrin in Syria.

According to local media reports,  the intruders caused damages to the premises and made off with a German flag and said that the building was not being guarded. Cretalive said that the self-styled anarchists used the Consul’s e-mail and fax to send messages to the Turkish embassy in Athens and to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Three leftist militants were indicted on March 15 after being charged with trying to stop a foreclosure after clashing with police outside a notary’s office in central Athens.

They were said to be members of a SYRIZA dissident offshoot, the party Popular Unity and an anti-foreclosure protester who tried to get into the office but were pushed back by police.

Reneging on his vow “Not one home in the hands of banks,” Tsipras has allowed banks to seize people’s homes on orders of the country’s international creditors, to whom he surrendered, reneging on anti-austerity promises to get a third bailout, this one for 86 billion euros ($106.01 billion) he said he would never seek nor accept but did both.

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