Mayor-elect escapes madman’s bullet

A deranged car mechanic shot at Athens Mayor-elect Dora Bakoyianni in the back seat of her car at the foot of the Acropolis yesterday afternoon, but the conservative MP was saved from serious injury by an unconscious move to rummage through her handbag. As she ducked, the single-bore shotgun bullet passed through the neck of Bakoyianni’s police driver, Giorgos Lyberiou, 35, who was out of danger late yesterday after being treated at Evangelismos Hospital. Bakoyianni, 48, suffered facial cuts from flying window shards, but was otherwise uninjured. A second guard in the car was unhurt. The attacker, 35-year-old Giorgos Sandalis, ran away from the scene of the attack on the corner of Dionysiou Areopagitou and Syngrou Avenue – where the New Democracy MP’s office is – pursued by a passing policeman who arrested him with the help of the police guard outside the Spanish Embassy, a few hundred meters up Dionysiou Areopagitou. President Costis Stephanopoulos, the government and political parties swiftly voiced outrage at the attack and concern for the MP, who is the daughter of conservative former Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis and the widow of ND deputy Pavlos Bakoyiannis, who was assassinated by November 17 terrorists in 1989. Bakoyianni, a mother of two, will take over as the first female mayor of Greece’s largest city on January 1.

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