NEWS

Police on alert after parcel bomb injures ex PM Lucas Papademos

TAGS: Terrorism, Politics

Counterterrorism police were on alert on Thursday after former prime minister Lucas Papademos was injured, along with two other people, when a parcel bomb exploded in his car in central Athens.

The explosion occurred at around 6.30 p.m. when Papademos opened an envelope in his car, police said.

Papademos, 69, was transferred to the capital’s Evangelismos Hospital with wounds to his legs, arms and stomach. The driver of the car and another man, both Bank of Greece employees, were also hospitalized with less serious injuries.

According to staff at Evangelismos, Papademos and the other two victims hurt in the blast were out of danger on Thursday night.

Papademos’s condition “is stable and not a cause for concern,” a statement from the hospital said. The two other men were said to have sustained superficial injuries but were kept in the hospital as a precautionary measure.

By late Thursday it remained unclear who was behind the blast though the methodology was reminiscent of a spate of parcel bombs in March.

The Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire guerrilla group claimed responsibility for a bomb sent to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble that did not go off.

Another bomb sent to the Paris offices of the International Monetary Fund detonated, injuring a worker. Another eight parcels were intercepted in Greece.

According to police sources, the device had been put in an envelope and mailed to Papademos at the Academy of Athens, of which he is president.

One of the bank employees who had been with him in the car had collected his mail from the Athens Academy offices and given it to him, sources added. The former premier had been sorting through his mail when he opened the package and set off the bomb.

Papademos, a former governor of the Bank of Greece and vice president of the European Central Bank, was prime minister of Greece for six months between late 2011 and the spring of 2012.

Politicians from across the spectrum were quick to denounce the attack. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who was in Brussels for a NATO summit, condemned the attack and wished Papademos and the other two men a speedy recovery.

Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras, among the first to visit Papademos in the hospital, spoke of a “cowardly attack.”

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said in a statement that he was “saddened” by the attack on Papademos, who he called “a brave public servant of Greece and Europe.”

New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis called the perpetrators behind the attack “ruthless,” adding that they are “the enemies of our country and of democracy.” Stavros Theodorakis, the leader of Potami, called on the public and politicians to “reflect on who is arming these murderers.”

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