Dimitris Rapidis

Risalto in Athens

During the last week self-creative, small-scale bomb mechanisms scattered in the residencies of Greek journalists in Athens, bringing in the light fears that terrorism in Greece is re-ignited under the shadow of the police special forces intervention in one of the flag squats of the anarchist community in Athens, called “Villa Amalia”.

“Villa Amalia” is the name of a building that hosted the 2nd High School in Athens, being transformed into an anarchist squat since the 1990s. The police raid that started in mid-December 2012 ended up a couple of weeks ago with the eviction of the squatters, re-occupation of the building by anarchist groups, and the launching of a fierce polemique between the government and the front opposition. One week ago a series of bomb attacks were enacted against a handful of journalists in Athens and its suburbs and mainstream media covering the event are talking about the re-ignition of terrorism in Greece for the first time after some of the major terrorist groups were ceased down by the police during the 1990s and the 200os.

The launching of bomb attacks was continued on Monday, 14 of January, when the headquarters of New Democracy -the leading party of the coalition government- were stricken by a group allegedly carrying kalashnikovs. This was the last chapter of the attacks and there are many advocating that democracy in Greece is under stake.

The string of events and its cause can be hardly explained and defined through a sole prism. It might be a retaliatory act organized and enacted by anarchist groups; it might also be a sudden ignition of well-hidden terrorist groups; it might equally be a combination of the above – but it might even be none of the above.

Hypothetically speaking, the first scenario is the least possible, as there are no signs, now and in the past,, that anarchist groups have the capacity, the know-how, and mainly the mindset of acting in such a violent way. Anarchism in Greece has been traditionally political, ideological, and in any case with no intimidating scopes.

The second scenario -that of terrorist groups- might seem more plausible, but with main differences with the previous terrorist groups activated and acting in Greece, at least from an ideological perspective. The major groups captured by the Greek investigation police and intelligence in the 1990s and 200os were predominantly acting in the name of democracy, yet being convicted for killing people. After all, this is the fundamental difference between a revolutionary group and a terrorist group: the first fights for democracy and launches a street or regional war against the central state and its components (i.e. principally the police, the army, the intelligence and the corrupted politicians), whereas the second one is considered as a criminal bunch spreading the fear and the sense of wide insecurity publicly. Nonetheless, ethics and morality in revolutionary war might sometimes take similar dimensions to a terrorist war, but this is another discussion.

Following our hypothetical thought, we can come to the following two conclusions: first, that anarchism in Greece is not at all correlated with terrorism and criminal acts; second, that terrorism in Greece may be indeed re-formed and prepared to act against the state and its components, especially in a period of complex developments referring to the deep and lasting economic crisis.

The second conclusion is, to my point of view, the one that has to be further explained and examined in a wider basis. Terrorism has definitely taken more complicated dimensions, and this shift is fundamentally attributed to three additional factors: the rise of weaponry smuggling globally, the rise of social and economic inequality in Greece and abroad, and the fact that a certain trust composed by politicians, entrepreneurs and bankers is more than ever considered as the major components of a deeply corrupted system. The latter criterion is also the one that increases conspiracy theories in the conception of the public.

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