ATHENS – Protesters rampaged in the anarchist neighborhood of Exarchia the night of July 31, upset that the special police guard who shot and killed a Greek teenager in December 2008 was let of of prison.
Ironically, the law was passed by the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA in its last days in power before being ousted in July 7 snap elections by New Democracy and was tailor-made to get out of prison terrorist killers, but also led to the release of Epameinondas Korkoneas, convicted of firing a shot toward a group of people that ricocheted, hitting and killing Alexis Grigoropoulos.
That led to two weeks of riots across the neighborhood, battles between anarchists and riot police, arson attacks on cars and buildings and widespread mayhem during a previous New Democracy administration.
No one has protested the release conditions for the terrorists and killers in line to get out of prison, nor SYRIZA for the law that led to the release of Korkoneas. The new protests come as police are set to sweep through Exarchia as part of new Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ pledge to restore law and order and take back the territory.
The anarchists imbedded there include some 1000 members of the notorious group Rouvikonas who ran amok under SYRIZA and have vowed pitched battles against police and have already taken up positions guarding squatters in abandoned buildings they’ve taken over.
Some 30 hooded people, wearing the uniform that is the anarchists symbol, clashed in several spots in Exarchia during otherwise peaceful protests over the release of Korkoneas even though it was done under the law passed by SYRIZA, riddled with anarchist and terrorist sympathizers.
The assailants hurled Molotov cocktails, rocks, and tables and chairs from nearby bars at a riot police squad stationed outside the office of the former PASOK Socialist party on Harilaou Trikoupi Street, Greek media reports said. No injuries were reported and two people were arrested.
The violence came a couple of hours after a few dozen people had gathered a few streets away, at the spot where Grigoropoulos was shot and where there is a memorial to him, surrounded by walls covered in graffiti in an unkempt area.
Korkoneas was released after having served one-third of his sentence under the lenient SYRIZA law. He had been sentenced to life before a court in Lamia cut his term to 13 years, which led to his being released outright.