An attack against our social fabric

The bomb attack against the Citizens’ Protection Ministry on Wednesday did not just kill a public servant and family man, it destroyed the people’s trust in the state, a trust that was already on shaky ground, and further heavily burdened a political agenda that is already under great strain. It appears that the target of the package bomb was Michalis Chrysochoidis himself, a minister, who, over the course of his eight-month tenure in this sensitive and complicated post, has been tough on both terrorism and common crime, often successfully and always with a clear sense of personal responsibility. However, the greater target of any terrorist attack is the heart of the state, a realization that came to the world in 1978 when Italy’s Red Brigades kidnapped and killed former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro. In the recent case here in Greece, the bomb attack was a declaration of open war with the characteristics of a vendetta and a complete disregard for collateral damage. The parcel bomb is a different breed of weapon to the usual gas canisters or minor explosives used against government targets with the intention of causing material damage only. This parcel bomb did not symbolize passionate protest; it was the weapon of cold-blooded killers who make no distinctions between their targets. The parcel bomb had the characteristics of a Mafia weapon, a weapon of revenge, and this is what should concern us most. Blind violence provokes an equally strong reaction and the threat to state and public security pushes respect for civil liberties onto the back burner. Moreover, this brutal attack was launched at a juncture when the country’s democracy is threatened by a mounting financial crisis and possible bankruptcy. The bomb shook a society that is profoundly concerned about its immediate future, about the fate of its young people and the survival of its weakest members, a society whose bonds of solidarity and cohesion are already being stretched. This bomb, all bombs, are an attack against a society that is sorely being tested.