ATHENS – Growing bolder, the notorious anarchist group Rouvikonas went after Greece’ Foreign Ministry with a trademark attack splashing red paint on the front of the building in the Capital, after other groups earlier had clashed with riot police guarding the home of a minister in the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA – which is riddled with anarchist sympathizers.
A ministry official condemned what was called an unprecedented attack although the group has been rampaging for months and striking a number of targets in protests against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras breaking vows and continuing austerity measures, as well as foreign embassies, the grounds of the Parliament and the Defense Ministry.
Only a few members have been apprehended and the group has been picking up assaults with little response from the authorities with Tsipras accused of turning a blind eye so that he can recover favor with Leftist elements disenchanted that he surrendered to Capitalists and foreign creditors to get a third bailout in 2015, this one for 86 billion euros ($100.33) billion.
The unidentified official told Kathimerini that the paint attack was aimed at “undermining the country’s independent foreign policy,” which is in the hands of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, a former Communist party leader who engineered a deal to give away the name of the ancient Greek province and let the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) be called North Macedonia and its citizens be called Macedonians with a Macedonian language and identity.
The attack, the official said, was “the result of an irresponsible far-right rhetoric that plays into the hands of third parties,” an apparent reference to the major rival New Democracy.
But the is also the hallmark of Tsipras’ junior coalition partner, the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) of Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, who opposes the deal and said his party will vote against ratification.
Police said about 10 people were involved in the incident. There were no injuries. One person had been detained.
In a web post, the group claimed the action against the Foreign Ministry, however, was in solidarity with the Palestinian people and in opposition to Greece’s warming ties with Israel after Tsipras had been in favor of the Palestinians before switching sides while he said he still wants to have good relations with both.
During an interview with Antenna TV on Monday, Migration Minister Dimitris Vitas described Rouvikonas as a “very unusual political group,” and said that, ““It does have a narrative, but its actions do not contribute to social stability. “On the contrary, many of its actions raise many questions about the objectives of the group,” he said, although another SYRIZA official earlier said it was a political movement and not a violent group.