A prosecutor launched an investigation on Friday as a spate of lawlessness in central Athens continued for a fourth day, with self-styled anarchists running amok along Patission Street, vandalizing the fronts of 10 shops and a branch of Hellenic Post (ELTA).
Footage from surveillance cameras showed a group of around 20 assailants wielding sledgehammers and hammers smashing the shop windows on Friday morning.
After the vandalism spree, the perpetrators sought refuge on the premises of the Athens Athens University of Economics and Business, according to witnesses on the campus, who said their arrival caused a panic among students.
The incident came just a few hours after arsonists targeted a riot police unit near Exarchia and the offices of the Culture Ministry close to Syntagma.
Athens prosecutor Ilias Zagoraios launched an investigation to determine whether anyone should be charged in connection with a spate of acts of vandalism and lawlessness by self-styled anarchists in recent days which have led to no arrests.
The perpetrators claim to be expressing solidarity with Constantinos Giagtzoglou, a 29-year-old being detained on charges of sending a letter bomb to former prime minister Lucas Papademos last year.
Giagtzoglou started a hunger strike last week after being transferred from Attica’s high-security Korydallos Prison to a penitentiary in Larissa, central Greece.
On Friday, however, the Justice Ministry said Giagtzoglou will be moved back to Korydallos as part of a mass exchange that will bring 27 inmates to the Attica penitentiary and move 52 to other jails.
Meanwhile, representatives of businesses repeated their calls on the government to intervene and Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas blamed the police force he oversees for the lax response to the unrest.
The ministry said it would add 200 officers for patrol duty in Athens.