Tuesday Jul 29, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Attack on PASOK HQ reveals police officers being placed at serious risk

By Yiannis Souliotis

When members of the urban guerrilla group Revolutionary Struggle fired Kalashnikov assault rifles at a riot police squad on duty outside the Ministry of Culture on Bouboulinas Street, central Athens, in the early hours of January 5, 2009, the officers thought they were being attacked with petrol bombs by self-styled anarchists from nearby Exarchia.

“We put on our helmets, picked up our shields and ran out of the riot van. It was only when we saw [fellow officer] Diamantis Matzounis bleeding on the ground that we realized what was going on and ran for cover,” one of the officers on duty that night, who wished to remain unnamed, told Kathimerini recently.

The confusion was echoed in the early hours of Sunday, May 25, when gunmen opened fire on the headquarters of the PASOK party on Harilaou Trikoupi Street, also in Exarchia.

“We heard the noise and thought it was firecrackers. That’s what we reported to headquarters. No one realized that it was gunfire from a Kalashnikov,” another officer who serves with the riot police said.

Police unionists claim that riot officers are equipped and trained to deal with raids against potential targets like the PASOK offices, which are quite a common occurrence in parts of central Athens, but not with an attack using high-powered weapons, as was the case on May 25. They also reveal that on the same night anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas was stabbed to death last September in the Piraeus suburb of Keratsini by a self-confessed member of ultranationalist party Golden Dawn, a squad of riot police was attacked in central Athens as it was leaving the PASOK headquarters post. According to the sources, unknown assailants poured gasoline onto the road at the corner of Harilaou Trikoupi and Arachovis streets and set it alight with Molotov cocktails after trapping the riot van full of officers over the spot by pushing metal garbage cans in front of and behind the vehicle.

Numerous memos regarding this and similar incidents have been sent to regional and national police headquarters, while the issue has been the subject of meetings between representatives of the riot police and the chief of security at PASOK’s offices. In one memo to the directorate responsible for the riot police, the Union of Police Employees stressed the need for measures to be taken so that officers’ safety is not endangered when they are on regular guard duty.

Sources told Kathimerini that the PASOK offices are guarded by a regular squad, as well as an additional 25 officers who have been transferred to that particular security detail. During the May 25 attack, an additional four security police officers were on duty there, though they failed to notice that anything was amiss at the time of the shooting. The attack took place at 5.30 a.m., just an hour-and-a-half before Greek election centers opened for the polls, though police headquarters and the counterterrorism unit were not informed of the incident until 1 p.m., seven-plus hours later. The gunmen also succeeded in getting close to PASOK’s offices from Mavromichali Street and fleeing the scene after firing two shots without being noticed even though a study was recently carried out stressing the security gaps in and around the building.

According to a high-ranking Greek police official, the security plan for the PASOK offices foresees a regular foot patrol by plain-clothes policemen and surveillance of the building from the adjacent rooftops. These measures have not been implemented, however, because officers fear for their safety as attacks on police, particularly in Exarchia, are so frequent.

It is worth noting that the May 25 attack on PASOK’s headquarters was carried out from a parking lot on Mavromichali Street and that the officers on duty in front of the offices do not have a view of this spot.

ekathimerini.com , Monday June 2, 2014 (20:32)  
Ministry appeals to keep limit on prescriptions
Universities aghast at new schools opening
Greece to hold next talks with troika in Paris, not Athens
Anastasiades sees lack of progress on Cyprus talks
Great margin for growth in exports
Competitiveness in small and medium-sized enterprises needs to become stronger, the National Bank of Greece argued in its biannual report on SMEs on Monday, though it also confirmed the stea...
Parliament’s Budget Office says third bailout may be needed
Parliament’s State Budget Office has ruffled some feathers again after claiming that is appears likely Greece will require a third bailout package to avoid a default. In its quarterly report...
Inside Business
VOLLEYBALL
Volleyball national team second in European League
Much as the national volleyball team tried to repeat in the finals of the European League the feat it had achieved in the semifinals, it failed to overturn the advantage Montenegro had got f...
SOCCER
Ranieri says he has little to change in Greek national team
The Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) presented Claudio Ranieri as the new Greece coach for the next couple of years, after the Italian manager signed his contract in Athens on Friday. “I l...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Weighing all the factors
Certain people in the know continue to believe that snap elections will take place in the fall. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is obviously aware of this trend, which is why he told Parliame...
EDITORIAL
Clear rules, for everyone
If we want to deal with the economic crisis, we need clear rules. A large number of individuals and businesses have amassed huge debts they cannot service. And some worrying symptoms have al...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Ministry appeals to keep limit on prescriptions
2. Great margin for growth in exports
3. Universities aghast at new schools opening
4. Greece to hold next talks with troika in Paris, not Athens
5. Anastasiades sees lack of progress on Cyprus talks
6. Supreme Court deputy prosecutor says ex-finance chief should be tried over ‘Lagarde list’
more news
Today
This Week
1. Defense Minister Avramopoulos to represent Greece at European Commission
2. Tree collapses in village square, killing nine-year-old boy
3. Euro inflation seen testing ECB patience as stimulus takes time
4. Minister mulls fixing food and drink prices at non-private beaches
5. Maziotis moved to Diavata Prison in Thessaloniki
6. Multi-bill containing prior actions ready for Parliament
Today
This Week
1. Climber dies in Mount Olympus fall
2. Greek sovereign debt at 174.1 percent of GDP in first quarter
3. Unequal after death
4. Hedge fund Dromeus turns Greek tragedy to triumph with 160 pct gain
5. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
6. Front-line threats
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.