Guerrilla group says it carried out Greek central bank bombing

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 25, 2014 10:29 AM

ATHENS (Reuters) - An anarchist Greek guerrilla group has claimed responsibility for a car bombing at a central bank building in Athens two weeks ago.

The dawn blast on April 10 caused no injuries but smashed windows in one of the busiest streets in the capital. It came hours before Greece tapped bond markets for the first time since its bailout began four years ago.

The Revolutionary Struggle militant group said in a document on an anti-establishment website the attack was a protest against Greece's return to bond markets and proved the group was still active.

In 2010, authorities said they had dismantled Revolutionary Struggle.

The group said the blast also targeted the office of the International Monetary Fund representative in Greece, housed in the central bank premises, and was a protest against a visit to Athens by German Chancellor Angela Merkel the next day.

Revolutionary Struggle said the purpose of the attack was to awaken austerity-hit Greeks and topple the state.

"The war will continue unabated. The system yearns for more blood, for more human sacrifice," said the group, which blames capitalism and corrupt politicians for the financial crisis. "What more do we have to lose?"

Police officials said the claim was authentic.

Despite signs Greece is turning the corner, public anger remains high after six years of recession which has sent unemployment to nearly 28 percent and eroded living standards.

Revolutionary Struggle emerged in 2003, soon after Greece's most lethal guerrilla group November 17 was dismantled. It has since carried out bomb and gun attacks against police, politicians, banks and the U.S. embassy, but has not killed anyone.

In 2009, it claimed responsibility for a powerful car bomb that damaged the Athens stock exchange and slightly injured one person.

Three Revolutionary Struggle members, arrested on April 10 2010, were sentenced to jail last year. Two others were tried in absentia and are still at large.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou; editing by Andrew Roche)