NEWS

Minister’s home firebombed, raising concerns over urban violence

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An attack by arsonists early Saturday on the Athens home of State Minister Alekos Flambouraris, a close aide of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, fuelled fears over the weekend of a spike in urban violence.

The unidentified assailants pelted the home of Flambouraris, in the downtown area of Exarchia, with makeshift petrol bombs, causing damage but no injuries. A vehicle belonging to a member of the minister’s security detail bore the brunt of the hit; it was destroyed while another car parked nearby was seriously damaged, according to a spokesman for the police.

The assault came just three months after another such attack on Flambouraris’s home, which leftist SYRIZA at the time had described as an attempt by opposition MPs and the media to link the leftist party to corruption. Reacting to the attack on Saturday, SYRIZA declared that it will not be terrorized by self-styled “revolutionaries” and pledged to fulfill its promise to crack down on corruption, vested interests and the criminal underworld.

The assault sparked a political row too. In what was widely seen as a dig at the main conservative opposition New Democracy, government spokeswoman Olga Gerovassili blamed “all those who have been trying for weeks to poison the political climate.”

ND’s spokesman, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, indicated that SYRIZA had provoked the attack by displaying “selective sensitivity to phenomena of violence. “He that sows the wind will reap the whirlwind," he remarked.