Greek, German gov’t officials condemn shooting outside ambassador’s home

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras telephoned German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday shortly after a pre-dawn shooting at the German ambassador’s residence in Halandri, northeastern Athens, an assault which German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier described as “very serious.”

According to sources, Samaras assured Merkel of the Greek government’s determination to bring the offenders to justice.

Six people were being questioned in connection with the incident by police who gathered 60 spent bullet casings from the scene of the shooting. The bullets came from two Kalashnikov assault rifles, according to police who were seeking to establish whether the weapons have been used in previous attacks.

Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos described the shooting as an attempt to cast Greece in a bad light ahead of the country’s planned assumption of the EU presidency.

Steinmeier said Germany was taking the attack “very seriously.” “Nothing, nothing at all can justify an attack against a representative of our country,” he said.

He expressed his satisfaction at the quick response by Greek authorities in investigating the incident, adding that the assailants would not succeed in harming Greek-German ties.

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