Furor over an­ar­chist raid

Op­po­si­tion slams gov­ern­ment af­ter Rou­vikonas stages protest at Par­lia­ment

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The gov­ern­ment came un­der fire from the po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion yes­ter­day af­ter mem­bers of the Rou­vikonas anti-es­tab­lish­ment group breached se­cu­rity on the perime­ter of Greece’s Par­lia­ment build­ing and en­tered the court­yard, the sec­ond such in­ci­dent in as many years.

A group of around 17 peo­ple man­aged to gain ac­cess to the build­ing’s court­yard by sneak­ing in be­hind the car of Al­ter­nate Fi­nance Min­is­ter Gior­gos Hou­liarakis as he drove through the en­trance. The pro­test­ers scat­tered fliers and shouted slo­gans con­demn­ing the gov­ern­ment and declar­ing sol­i­dar­ity with “po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers” in­clud­ing a 29-year-old PhD stu­dent who was re­cently con­victed of be­ing a mem­ber of the Con­spir­acy of the Cells of Fire ur­ban guer­rilla group and is known in lo­cal me­dia by her first name, Iri­anna.

The pro­test­ers were cor­nered by po­lice and briefly de­tained while Par­lia­ment Speaker Nikos Vout­sis com­mu­ni­cated with Cit­i­zens’ Pro­tec­tion Min­is­ter Nikos Toskas. The de­tainees were later re­leased.

“Par­lia­ment, too, has be­come a free-forall,” the leader of the main con­ser­va­tive op­po­si­tion New Democ­racy party, Kyr­i­akos Mit­so­takis, de­clared af­ter the in­ci­dent. He ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of “le­git­imiz­ing law­less­ness and handing over the state and now Par­lia­ment to all sorts of trou­ble­mak­ers who it cul­ti­vated it­self.”

He added that the coali­tion was “turn­ing a blind eye to all th­ese phe­nom­ena be­cause, quite sim­ply, it is pro­tect­ing its own chil­dren.”

Cen­trist Po­tami is­sued a sar­cas­tic state­ment in re­sponse to Toskas’s claims in a re­cent in­ter­view with Kathimerini to be sys­tem­at­i­cally iden­ti­fy­ing all the ac­tive an­ar­chists and van­dals in Athens. “Rou­vikonas has a heart af­ter all. Its mem­bers came of their own ac­cord to Par­lia­ment to fa­cil­i­tate the min­is­ter in his task.”

Rou­vikonas was the driv­ing force be­hind sev­eral protests in 2015, in­clud­ing one on the grounds of Par­lia­ment in April of that year. Since then it has con­ducted in­creas­ingly fre­quent raids on gov­ern­ment build­ings as well as busi­ness tar­gets, of­ten protest­ing the reper­cus­sions of aus­ter­ity poli­cies de­manded by Greece’s cred­i­tors.

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