Recent arson attacks, violence may be linked to anarchist turf war

Recent arson attacks, violence may be linked to anarchist turf war

Police in Athens are investigating whether a spate of arson attacks on “establishment” targets and a fight involving members of a soccer fan club may be part of an effort by organized anarchist groups to establish new turf in other parts of the city center after being ousted from the downtown district of Exarchia.

According to police sources, investigators believe that since restrictions on the public’s movements were lifted on May 4, anarchist groups have been trying to reestablish their presence in the Greek capital by fomenting violence at youth gatherings on public squares and carrying out arson attacks at the Evelpidon Street court complex, on a branch of the Athens Traffic Police and on several supermarkets and courier services.

A number of these incidents have taken place in or around the district of Kypseli, where a group of self-styled anarchists clashed over the weekend with members of a local AEK soccer team fan club.

Sources say that investigators are working on the theory that the violence may have been a reaction by the influential soccer club to curb efforts by anarchists to establish their presence in the area after losing their foothold in nearby Exarchia following a police crackdown launched by the center-right government when it was elected to power last summer.

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