Popular Fighters Group claims responsibility for Athens court blast | News | DW | 27.12.2017
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Popular Fighters Group claims responsibility for Athens court blast

Greece's Popular Fighters Group has claimed responsibility for bombing an Athens court and accused the judges of backing harsh austerity measures. "Justice is like a snake. It will only bite those barefoot," they said.

The far-left Popular Fighters Group (OLA) said on Wednesday that it was behind a blast that targeted Court of Appeal in Athens last Friday. While nobody was injured in the bombing, the explosive device shattered windows on the front of the courthouse and caused significant damage to nearby buildings. Shots were also fired in the direction of a security guard.

The reason for the attack, according to the urban guerrilla faction, is the court's alleged support for painful budget cuts and other austerity measures. The organization accused Greece's judiciary of siding with politicians who push such measures at the behest of the country's international lenders. Specifically, the appeals court has upheld cutting pensions and salaries, they said.

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The small far-left organization also claims that Greek judges favored the rich and powerful in several well-publicized cases.

"Justice is like a snake. It will only bite those barefoot," the Popular Fighters Group said.

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Group called media ahead of blast

The attack comes amid a bitter battle over foreclosures on owners who are in debt to the banks. The authorities now hold many foreclosure sales online to avoid blockades and disruptions by leftist factions.

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Police said they believed the Wednesday claim was authentic. Ahead of the blast, the group called media outlets warning them that a strike was imminent, the authorities added.

The Popular Fighters Group is one of several small leftist factions operating in Greece. Greek authorities believe them to be responsible for a series of small-scale attacks, including activating a small bomb outside a commercial bank earlier this year and sending an explosive parcel to the Labor Ministry last year. Notably, the group also committed drive-by shootings at the Israeli embassy in 2014 and the German ambassador's residence in 2013. They also targeted a Greek industry federation in late 2015. No one was injured in the attacks.

dj/msh (Reuters, AFP)

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