Greek political violence continues unabated
The resurgence in political violence in Greece over the last three months shows no signs of abating. Two grenade attacks have been reported in the last two days, one in the capital, Athens and the other in the northern port city of Thessaloniki.
In the first attack a hand grenade was thrown at a building hosting a meeting of Greek conscientious objectors yesterday. The device caused damage to the exterior of the Steki Metanaston (Immigrant Hangout) in the Exarchia district of Athens. Eyewitnesses managed to take down the number of the vehicle the attackers used to escape in, however, police say that the car is unregistered.
The second attack in Thessaloniki took place in the early hours of Tuesday morning when a grenade exploded outside a shop selling electrical goods. No group has yet claimed responsibility for either attack.
According to Greek documentary maker and founder of the independent news service, TV Xoris Synora (TV Without Borders) Stelios Kouloglou the incident marks the possibility of a "campaign of heightened tension" similar to the one which took place in Italy during the late 60's and early 70's when far right groups conducted a bombing campaign which lead to widespread social tensions and the rise of terrorist groups such as the Red Army Faction.
Some commentators on the left in Greece believe that the latest attacks are being used to provoke extreme reponses as a pretext for a clamp down on the government's opponents on the left and to create a climate of fear and tension in which important civil liberties can be suspended.
Already the dramatic escape from the maximum security Korydallos prison by helicopter has lead Justice minister Nikos Dendias to table legislation which would oblige the owners pre-paid cell phone to register their devices.