Political row erupts after ND accuses SYRIZA of links to terrorism

A day after police launched a manhunt for a convicted member of the disbanded November 17 guerrilla organization who failed to report to police during a furlough, conservative New Democracy, which leads the ruling coalition, accused the leftist opposition SYRIZA of having “well-known links to terrorism,” sparking a furious response from SYRIZA.

“The positions and relations of SYRIZA in connection to terrorism are well-known. After all some of its select cadres remain central witnesses and defense lawyers of the murderers of November 17,” ND said in a particularly strongly-worded statement. “Perhaps this is why SYRIZA didn’t utter a word yesterday about the escape of the murderer Christodoulos Xeros,” the statement added, referring to the missing convict.

ND’s statement was issued in response to an article in the Avgi newspaper, which backs SYRIZA, and which names Antonio Negri, the convicted leader of the disbanded Red Brigades, an Italian terrorist group, as among the supporters of leftist leader Alexis Tsipras.

The conservative party’s outburst prompted a swift response from SYRIZA which commented that “the ridiculousness of the government has no bounds,” adding that the coalition was shooting itself in the foot by making such statements on the occasion of Greece’s assumption of the EU presidency instead of using the opportunity to press for a review of the austerity measures attached to the country’s foreign bailout.