NEWS

Terror threat broached

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has ordered Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras to boost his cooperation with the Greek Police’s counter-terrorism unit and to restore calm to central Athens, following a string of attacks and an unsettling proclamation by terror group Revolutionary Struggle, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. Polydoras has reportedly been instructed to maximize his cooperation with counter-terrorism chief Stelios Syros and to restore order in Exarchia, a traditional anarchist stronghold that has been plagued by violence over the past few months. The same sources told Kathimerini that government advisers are warning of the repercussions of the continued violence on the ruling party’s image during a pre-election period. «The guarantee of a safe environment is a fundamental demand of our society,» an official said. But a more pressing fear is of another, possibly bloody, attack in the near future. The proclamation, in which the terror group claimed responsibility for a strike on a police station last month, threatens more attacks on police targets. «If this climate of police violence and terrorism intensifies we will escalate our action accordingly,» it said. It also named Polydoras and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis as potential targets. The document included a scathing rant against police, which it called «the paid servants of the dominant class.» Senior police officers fear the comments may be a gambit to an attack aimed at harming officers. They believe that the group has «missiles, automatic weapons and grenades.» They also think that it is seeking wider acceptance, claiming allegiance with striking teachers, contract workers and farmers. «Repressive violence has been the central policy of the modern state,» the document says, referring to police tactics during recent street rallies. Asked to assess the proclamation yesterday, alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said: «The government does not enter into dialogue with terrorists.»