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Greek Militants Say They Bombed Media Offices to Protest ‘Capitalist’ Agenda

ATHENS — A far-left militant group in Greece known for staging attacks on political and foreign diplomatic sites has claimed responsibility for a bombing near Athens last month outside the offices of a major broadcaster and newspaper publisher.

In a post on the anti-establishment website Athens Indymedia on Tuesday night, the Group of Popular Fighters claimed responsibility for the Dec. 17 bombing, which caused serious damage to the facade of the building but no injuries. Greek news outlets reported at the time that 10 kilograms, or 22 pounds, of explosives had been used.

In its statement, the militant group said it had targeted the broadcaster Skai and the newspaper Kathimerini, which are part of the same media group and are housed in the same building, because they were among outlets that “played a special role in preserving the rotten economic and political system” during the Greek debt crisis. For a decade, the country was required by international creditors to adopt austerity measures in return for bailouts.

The group also accused news outlets of promoting a capitalist agenda in Greece and of “terrorizing society that beyond the E.U. there is nothing but chaos and hell.” It appeared to be referring to the idea, widely supported in 2015, that a compromise with creditors in the European Union and the International Monetary Fund was required to allow Greece to remain in the eurozone.

The Group of Popular Fighters, which had been suspected of staging the attack on the media group’s headquarters from the start, said it had taken all necessary precautions to ensure that the bombing caused no injuries. Two warning calls before the attack in the early hours of Dec. 17 allowed the police to evacuate the building and cordon off the area.

The explosion shattered windows up to the sixth floor of the building, leaving broken glass and debris on the ground around the entrance. Nearby apartment blocks and vehicles also suffered minor damage.

The long-winded declaration described private media organizations in Greece as “hubs for the perpetuation of a dominant far-right, xenophobic and neoliberal rhetoric, and as such are rightly the recipients of social counterviolence.”

The Group of Popular Fighters, which emerged at the beginning of Greece’s debt crisis, has carried out a number of attacks over the years, setting off bombs at the Athens appeals court just over a year ago and at the offices of the Federation of Greek Industries in 2015.

It also claimed responsibility for two assault rifle attacks in 2013 — on the headquarters of the conservative party New Democracy, which was in power at the time, and on the residence of the German ambassador to Athens — and for a gun attack on the Israeli Embassy in 2015. There were no casualties in any of the assaults.


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