NEWS

Anarchists claim arson ‘slalom’

What appears to be a new anarchist group has claimed responsibility for most of the firebomb attacks targeting politicians and public figures in central Athens late on Monday and early Tuesday. In a proclamation published in yesterday’s Eleftherotypia daily, a group calling itself «The After-Midnight Slalom» said it had carried out five of the attacks. It made no mention of the sixth, in which the front door of television journalist Anna Panayiotarea’s Plaka house was charred. The attacks came as details were made public of a police decision to reassign some 1,000 of the 6,000 officers guarding potential crime and terror suspects later this month. The anarchist group, which defined itself as «a society of workers for a social uprising,» linked the gas-canister bomb attacks with the continued detention of seven people arrested at the June 21 riots in Thessaloniki, during the Halkidiki European Union summit. It also expressed solidarity with the «unrepentant fighters accused of participation in November 17 and Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA)» terrorist groups. In the proclamation it dumped in an Athens rubbish bin, After-Midnight Slalom attacked the 2004 Olympics for being «a whore of multinational companies, addressed to doped-up robots.» The group called for Spain to release five suspected members of a Barcelona anarchist cell held in connection with a parcel-bomb attack on the Greek consulate in Madrid – carried out in solidarity with the Thessaloniki detainees, two of whom are Spaniards. The arson spree targeted the house of New Democracy MP Giorgos Voulgarakis, professor Giorgos Veltsos – a close friend of Prime Minister Costas Simitis – two local PASOK offices and one belonging to New Democracy. Nobody was hurt. Government spokesman Christos Protopappas said Voulgarakis would keep his police guard.