Greek urban guerrilla group claims responsibility for Eurobank attack

Reuters News
Posted: May 30, 2017 1:21 PM

ATHENS (Reuters) - A Greek urban guerrilla group claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a small blast that damaged the entrance and shattered the windows of a building housing Eurobank offices in central Athens last month.

There were no injuries during the April 19 attack, police have said. Eurobank is Greece's third-largest lender by assets.

The Group of People's Fighters (OLA) said Eurobank was targeted because of its handling of non-performing loans, which have increased rapidly across the country's banking system during Greece's worst debt crisis in decades.

The leftist group also said it was behind an attempted attack against the labor ministry in December 2016. Police detonated that bomb in a controlled explosion.

Police officials said they thought the claim was authentic.

The People's Fighters Group has previously claimed responsibility for a blast outside the offices of a Greek business federation in Athens in 2015 and two attacks in 2013 - one on the headquarters of Greece's conservative New Democracy party and another on the German ambassador's residence.

Small-scale attacks on businesses, police and politicians are frequent in Greece, which has a long history of political violence and is struggling to emerge from crisis despite three international bailouts since 2010.

On May 25, a former Greek prime minister was injured when a booby-trapped package exploded in his car in central Athens in the worst act of violence targeting politicians in Greece for several years.

Lucas Papademos, who was a caretaker prime minister for six months in late 2011 to mid-2012, is now recovering in hospital. He suffered mainly superficial injuries when an envelope he opened exploded.

The blast, in which a hospital official said two others in the vehicle were also hurt, was the most prominent since a booby-trapped package killed a guard for the then public order minister in 2010

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Tom Heneghan)