Political parties on Wednesday condemned an attack on New Democracy MP Vassilis Economou by self-styled anarchists on Tuesday night amid rising concerns about a spike in such violence in central Athens in recent days, particularly in the neighborhood of Exarchia, where Economou was assaulted.
ND’s acting leader Yiannis Plakiotakis, who visited Economou in the hospital on Tuesday night, called on the government to contain anti-establishment activity while claiming that some members of the government are protecting such extremists.
SYRIZA, for its part, declared that “such actions have no place in a democratic society.”
Centrist Potami and PASOK struck a similar note, calling on authorities to protect citizens’ rights.
Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis was one of the first to speak with Economou after the attack, which he condemned as “unacceptable and abhorrent.”
The assault on Economou, by a group of about 10 hooded attackers, is the latest in a series of acts of violence by suspected members of anarchist or anti-establishment groups in recent days that has stirred the concern of the authorities.
An attack on PASOK’s offices in Exarchia by assailants wielding firebombs early on Monday was followed that night by an assault on members of the police’s motorcycle-riding force DIAS and an almost simultaneous attack on three ticket inspectors at Omonia metro square.
The union representing the Greek Police’s special guards issued a statement on Wednesday expressing concern about Exarchia in particular, which, it said, “is at risk of quickly becoming a no-go area again.”
Police sources told Kathimerini that there have been other attacks on officers by suspected anarchists in recent weeks that have not been publicized.
Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas conceded on Wednesday that there is cause for concern.
“Yes, there is a problem of movement in Exarchia for anyone with a public position or anyone whose opinions don’t fit in,” he told Real FM. “There is a problem and we must tackle it,” he said.