NEWS

Increase in lawlessness heightens concerns

TAGS: Politics, Education, Crime

Concerns are increasing about the apparent impunity with which self-styled anarchists and other anti-establishment activists are operating following a fresh spate of incidents on Thursday, one involving the increasingly active Rouvikonas (Rubicon) group.

A group of Rouvikonas members entered a notary’s office in central Athens and threw fliers bearing anti-austerity slogans in the air before fleeing.

The raid came just a day after 30 of the group’s members stormed the Finance Ministry, also in central Athens, managing to reach the office of Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos on the sixth floor before police stopped them.

In a statement posted on an anti-establishment website after Wednesday’s raid the group said it would continue to target government offices and businesses as well as notaries whom it blames for conducting property foreclosures.

On Thursday, the group called on Greeks who have lost their homes due to foreclosures to protest on February 22 but it remained unclear whether it was organizing a demonstration or where it would be held.

There were no arrests on Thursday or the day before, as is usual, following raids by Rouvikonas, prompting the criticism of the main political opposition, conservative New Democracy, which accused the government of “typical apathy.”

In another incident on Thursday attributed to members of anti-establishment groups, unidentified vandals used sledgehammers to smash the glass facades of a bank and a branch of Hellenic Post near the Athens University of Economics (AUEB), causing significant damage but no injuries.

Witnesses said the hooded assailants emerged from the university grounds and returned there after the raids.

Rouvikonas has claimed responsibility for dozens of acts of vandalism against perceived targets, including state offices, financial agencies, media organizations and businesses.

In some of its raids, it collaborates with members of lesser-known anarchist groups, who also generally elude arrest, often taking refuge on university campuses.

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