NEWS

PASOK blames SYRIZA for harassing spokesman

The government has lashed out at the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), which it holds responsible for a protest that saw government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis penned in for several hours at a retirement home in an Athens suburb on Thursday night.

Petalotis was prevented from leaving the building in Argyroupoli, where he had been delivering a speech, after dozens of protesters gathered outside. They shone laser pens into the retirement home, threw eggs and yogurt and chanted slogans. One woman was slightly injured when a smoke bomb went off.

Petalotis had wanted to leave via the front entrance but he was eventually escorted by police via the back door into a waiting car.

It is the latest incident of voters targeting politicians but the government suggested that Thursday?s protest had been organized by SYRIZA, which it accused of trying to capitalize on the recent Indignant protests in Athens and other cities.

?This was an unacceptable attempt by some people to manipulate public gatherings for their own party political gains,? the government said in a statement that claimed members of SYRIZA were at the forefront of the incident at the retirement home.

SYRIZA said PASOK?s decision to turn its fire on the leftist party was predictable and accused the government of being out of touch with the people.