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Society

Greek Police Say They’re Closing in on Rouvikonas Anarchists

January 8, 2018

ATHENS – The rampaging Rouvikonas (Rubicon) anarchist group, which has hit targets from Parliament to the Greek Defense ministry, political headquarters and others, is in the crosshairs of police, who are set to give a prosecutor a file on the notorious group.

That comes after months of investigation into their activities, Kathimerini reported, and as rival political groups said the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA has condoned its violent actions in a bid to re-establish Leftist credentials in the wake of breaking anti-austerity promises and bowing to international creditors, Capitalists, and banks.

Investigators are already in contact with the head of the Athens Court of First Instance, Ilias Zagoraios, about the timeline of the group’s attacks, the paper said, according to sources it didn’t identify.

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.

The Greek Police (ELAS) file refers to 87 criminal acts attributed to Rouvikonas, ranging from the occupation of the offices of leftist SYRIZA in March 2015 to the Israeli Embassy attack.

It also includes another on a Rouvikonas raid at a doctor’s office at the capital’s Evangelismos Hospital last October, where he said he was threatened to stop taking bribes to perform surgery. There was no indication whether he would be investigated for that alleged crime, common among doctors, most of whom get away with it.

Of the 87 activities, 28 were carried out in 2015, 16 in 2016 and 43 last year, the report is said to have outlined, with the first in 2015 when alleged members vandalized the John S. Latsis Benefit Foundation in Kifissia, the affluent northern Athens suburb.

Most recently, charges were brought against 18 people in October following the occupation of the Spanish Embassy in Athens.

In a rare case of conviction, the 18 were found guilty of disturbing the peace and refusing to have their fingerprints taken before being released.

According to investigators, the ranks of Rouvikonas are growing, starting with 10-15 but now up to 119 suspected members as outrage has grown against Tsipras and SYRIZA for constantly reneging on promises to reverse austerity and to help workers, pensioners and the poor who have borne the brunt of the country’s nearly 8-year-long economic crisis.

But police were said to be wary that even their report would lead to a crackdown, expecting SYRIZA to go easy on the group, the paper said, and with most of the crimes being misdemeanors despite the violence.

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