Rouvikonas attack on court puts police under pressure

Rouvikonas attack on court puts police under pressure

The Hellenic Police (ELAS) has come under pressure after Monday night’s attack by anti-establishment group Rouvikonas on the Council of State in central Athens.

The force woke up to criticism on Tuesday morning over how it allowed a group of around 70 anarchist to reach the main entrance of the country’s highest administrative court, and to splash black paint and smash windows on the facade, before making off without being stopped.

A few hours before the attack, one of the more active and public members of Rouvikonas had announced the impending “raid” on a judicial “target” on his Facebook account. The Council of State, meanwhile, has been in the headlines in recent days after the resignation of its president and was at the time of the attack conducting a hearing on the constitutionality of a controversial labor reform law that will lead to reductions in thousands of pensions.

In a post on an anti-establishment website, Rouvikonas – a group that has carried out dozens of acts of vandalism against state offices, financial agencies, embassies, media and other businesses – shared responsibility for the attack with two anarchist collectives from Nea Filadelfia in northwestern Athens and in Thessaloniki, northern Greece.

According to sources, there was talk at police headquarters on Alexandras Avenue on Tuesday morning of “decisive action” being taken against the anarchist group.

Speaking on the radio on Tuesday morning, meanwhile, the president of the association of ELAS special guards said that Rouvikonas’s activities are an “embarrassment to the state and the force.”

“The way Rouvikonas is going about it, our demand for more policing the city center will be met because officers are always sent after the attacks,” Vassilis Doumas told Thema Radio with more than a hint of sarcasm.

Doumas also accused the Citizens’ Protection Ministry of disbanding the so-called Delta force, a rapid response unit that was designed to deal with such incidents.  

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