Bomb attacks on reporters fuel political clashes

A string of bomb blasts outside the homes of five journalists in different parts of Attica on Friday caused minor damage but no injuries. However they did fuel a heated exchange between the government and leftist main opposition SYRIZA about a spike in politically-related violence.

The explosive devices, which comprised gas canisters, exploded outside residences in the suburbs of Alimos, Aghia Paraskevi, Penteli and Maroussi as well as Lycabettus in the city center early on Friday.

The attacks targeted Antonis Skyllakos, the head of the Athens News Agency, Mega TV presenter Giorgos Oikonomeas, former Mega anchor Antonis Liaros, Petros Karsiotis of Alpha TV, and Christos Konstas, formerly at Alter TV and now at the business weekly Ependitis.

Police sources said the attacks appeared to be in protest at media coverage of the economic crisis but there were indications that police raids on squats in Athens could have prompted them.

The assaults prompted the government to accuse SYRIZA of tolerating the action by failing to condemn it.

“What will it take for SYRIZA to disown the coddled hoodies?” government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou remarked.

In an interview with Real FM, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras accused the government of “creating artificial polarization and tension” but clarified that “violence and the threat to human life is not in keeping with the value system of the left.”