NEWS

Fears grow over spike in lawlessness by anarchists

YIANNIS SOULIOTIS

TAGS: Crime, Politics

Concerns are growing over an increase in violent attacks by self-styled anarchists, most recently Thursday's firebomb assault against a police precinct in Pefki, northern Athens, that caused no injuries but which police sources said had been intended to shed blood. 

The attack in Pefki was the latest in a spike in lawlessness including a raid by members of the anarchist group Rouvikonas (Rubicon) on Wednesday on the capital’s Evangelismos Hospital, where a doctor was threatened for allegedly accepting “fakelakia” (payments from patients to facilitate treatment), the assault of three army cadets in Monastiraki Square last week and a firebomb attack on a police station in Exarchia in September. 

The precinct attack in Pefki occurred at around 2 a.m. on Thursday and involved around 10 masked assailants.

According to police, the perpetrators threw six firebombs at the building, damaging three cars, including two police vehicles, parked outside. The three police officers who had been on duty at the time were unharmed, but a police source told Kathimerini that the attackers had “intended to kill.”

Meanwhile, a day after members of Rouvikonas threatened a doctor on the premises of Evangelismos, Supreme Court prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou ordered an investigation into the anarchist group, which has recently stepped up its activities. 

Rouvikonas posted a video on an anti-establishment website showing its members entering a doctor’s office and threatening to “smash your head and break your arm” if he continued to take bribes. 

The Athens and Piraeus hospital doctors’ association (EINAP) condemned Rouvikonas for the attack, declaring that violence will not resolve the serious problems plaguing the country’s health sector.

“Only the organized resistance of all medical staff in alliance with our patients and the people can solve these problems,” it said.

Surgeons at Evangelismos have decided to hold a symbolic two-hour work stoppage to protest Rouvikonas’s action either on Friday or on Monday.

The leader of the main opposition New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, expressed concern on Thursday about the recent spike in lawlessness and asked for a discussion in Parliament on the issue.

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