Hunger strike fuels attacks

A man suspected of taking part in a vicious attack on a former union leader as well as torching banks has gone on hunger strike to protest his detention, which, in turn, has led to self-styled anarchists committing acts of vandalism in sympathy with his plight. Doctors at the Nikaia General Hospital near Piraeus said yesterday that the health of Nikos Kountardas is in danger. He went on hunger strike on May 16 and has at times refused to drink water as well. Kountardas was remanded in custody after breaking the terms of his bail, which he denies. The 31-year-old had been held for 17 months in connection with a violent attack on the head of the GSEE umbrella union, Christos Polyzogopoulos, in January 2006. However, he was released on bail pending his trial in October. A group calling itself the Morning Sabotage Team damaged the stands of six political parties in the central Athens neighborhood of Ano Patissia early yesterday. According to a statement posted on the Internet, the attack was an act of solidarity with Kountardas.