Coalition leaders opt for common front after spate of violent attacks

Greece’s three coalition leaders met on Tuesday night in an effort to show a united front against politically motivated violence after a series of attacks on party offices, the home of the government spokesman’s brother and New Democracy’s headquarters, amid fears that there will be more incidents to come.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left chief Fotis Kouvelis discussed the latest attacks and, according to sources, were informed by Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias that there could be more raids in the days to come.

“We have racist violence and terrorist violence and even flirting with violence,” said Venizelos. “We have to overcome this.”

The PASOK leader called on a “constitutional arc” of forces to unite to oppose violence. The wording was a clear challenge to SYRIZA, which the government accuses of maintaining an equivocal stance on the use of politically linked violence. The leftists deny this is the case.

Police continued to investigate Monday’s shooting at ND headquarters. Sources said that authorities have in their possession CCTV footage of the incident but it is not clear whether the identity of the two gunmen can be ascertained.

There were two anonymous claims of responsibility on Tuesday on the Indymedia website for the bombing of the home of Giorgos Kedikoglou, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou’s brother, and a series of other arson attacks.

The authors linked the incidents to recent attempts by authorities to evict squatters.

It appeared on Tuesday that the police were set to clear another squat in Athens. Officers detained 16 people at the Lela Karayianni squat, named after a Greek resistance organizer who lived at the property until 1944, when she was executed by Nazi occupiers.

However, the detainees were later released and the property’s keys were returned to them. Police sources said two buildings were taken back from squatters last week because the owners – the City of Athens and the Seamen’s Fund – had asked for help from authorities. There was no such request regarding the Lela Karayianni squat, they said.