Em­bassy hit puts pres­sure on po­lice for Obama visit

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The hand gre­nade at­tack against the French Em­bassy early yes­ter­day morn­ing in Athens has placed Greek po­lice un­der in­creas­ing pres­sure, just a few days be­fore the visit of out­go­ing US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama on Novem­ber 15-16.

For­eign diplomatic mis­sions have al­ready filed re­quests for ex­tra se­cu­rity, while French of­fi­cials have asked the In­te­rior Min­istry to pro­vide se­cu­rity to French busi­ness in­ter­ests and or­ga­ni­za­tions.

One po­lice­man, stand­ing guard out­side the French Em­bassy opposite the Greek Par­lia­ment, was in­jured when un­known assailants threw a hand gre­nade.

No one claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack but one the­ory un­der con­sid­er­a­tion is that it was linked to Ge­orges Ibrahim Ab­dal­lah, a Le­banese mil­i­tant who is serv­ing a 32-year jail sen­tence in France for the mur­der of two diplo­mats in the 1980s. Texts in sup­port of his re­lease were posted on­line over the last two weeks by mem­bers of the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Strug­gle and Con­spir­acy of the Cells of Fire ur­ban ter­ror groups.

The govern­ment con­demned the at­tack as an act of ter­ror­ism and vowed to hunt down the cul­prits, while Al­ter­nate Min­is­ter for Cit­i­zens’ Pro­tec­tion Nikos Toskas chaired a meet­ing with se­nior po­lice of­fi­cials in which they de­cided to make changes to plans to guard po­ten­tial tar­gets in the city cen­ter.

Amid dif­fi­cult ne­go­ti­a­tions with cred­i­tors to com­plete the sec­ond re­view of Greece’s third bailout, the left­ist-led coali­tion is ea­gerly an­tic­i­pat­ing Obama’s visit, as it is banking on cru­cial US sup­port for Greek debt re­lief, which Washington has re­peat­edly said is nec­es­sary. Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras has stated that he wants a com­mit­ment for debt re­lief mea­sures at the Eurogroup on De­cem­ber 5, and of­fi­cials are ex­pect­ing Obama to make the case in Ber­lin – the next stop of his tour after Athens.

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