Posts Tagged ‘Greek’
Greek Socialists Win In Local Polls, Drop Election Threat – Wall Street Journal
Last Updated on Sunday, 7 November 2010 07:26 Written by admin Sunday, 7 November 2010 07:26
(Updates with further details, comment.)
ATHENS (Dow Jones)–Greece’s ruling Socialists appear to have survived a key test of their popularity in local polls Sunday, prompting Prime Minister George Papandreou to drop his threat of early national elections if the vote went against him.
With more than 50% of the votes counted, Socialist candidates were on track to win in 7 of Greece’s 13 electoral regions–including the all important province of Attica, home to 40% of the Greek population–against five for the opposition New Democracy party. In the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, the race between the two main parties …
Greek police destroy letter bomb sent to French embassy – BBC News
Last Updated on Thursday, 4 November 2010 11:27 Written by admin Thursday, 4 November 2010 11:27
4 November 2010
Last updated at 13:24 ET
Police in Athens have safely destroyed a letter bomb sent to the French embassy, the 14th suspect device found in Greece this week.
They detonated the device, which had been concealed inside a book, in a controlled explosion.
A police source said the bomb seemed to have been posted along with others sent to foreign governments and embassies.
Two Greek men aged 22 and 24, who allegedly handled suspect parcels, have been charged with terrorist offences.
All evidence shows this is a clear domestic case, with no connection with international terrorism”
Greek foreign minister
The wave of letter bombs sent to addresses in Greece and across Europe has led to Greece halting deliveries of overseas mail.
Small devices exploded at the Swiss and Russian embassies on Tuesday.
A courier employee was slightly injured when a bomb exploded in her hands.
The letter bombs apparently did not contain enough explosives to seriously harm any recipient, with police saying most burst into flames when they opened.
Analysts say the bombs are probably meant as a show of force by Greek leftist militants.
“All evidence shows this is a clear domestic case, with no connection with international terrorism,” Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said on Wednesday.
“The evidence so far shows we are dealing with extreme left, anarchist groups.”
The package sent to the French embassy was blown up outside a courier company. Reports say it was returned by the embassy.
It had been placed inside a hollowed-out book with the Orthodox archbishopric of Athens given as the return address.
Targets of earlier packages include French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Panayotis Argyrou, 22, a chemistry student, and Gerassimos Tskalos, 24, were arrested on Monday allegedly in possession of one package addressed to President Sarkozy and another destined for the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
They had allegedly just posted off a parcel to the Dutch embassy in Athens.
Both men refused to recognise the court when they were charged with committing acts of terrorism, belonging to a criminal organisation, possession and use of bombs and explosives, as well as lesser offences including refusing to give their identities and fingerprints.
They have been remanded in custody.
Greek parcel bombs, Yemen plot may cause tighter cargo security in Europe – Christian Science Monitor
Last Updated on Wednesday, 3 November 2010 04:26 Written by admin Wednesday, 3 November 2010 04:26
In the wake of a string of parcel bombs in Greece and the Yemeni plot to send explosives to the US via air freight, Germany wants EU ministers to review air-cargo security measures.
Greece halted airmail shipments today for 48 hours in the wake of a two-day spate of parcel bombings blamed on domestic militants in Athens.
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The moratorium comes after eight explosive parcels were sent to embassies in Athens, two were found at Athens International Airport, and another two managed to exit Greece. Italian authorities intercepted an incendiary package in Bologna and another reached the office of German chancellor Angela Merkel.
Early Wednesday morning, Greek police and the civil aviation authorities agreed on the moratorium so that they could perform additional checks on packages scheduled for delivery.
RELATED: Parcel bombs in Athens appear to be Greek anarchists’ calling cards
The string of Greek bombings follows a thwarted, unrelated plot to send explosive packages from Yemen to the United States via cargo flights last week. The plot, tied to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, coupled with the Greece bombings is raising fresh concerns about air-cargo security. According to the Associated Press, Germany wants EU ministers to consider tighter security at a meeting next week.
The temporary measures in Greece, however, may be “a little late,” says Scott Stewart, vice president of tactical intelligence at STRATFOR. “Anything that was already in the system is probably already out but you can understand why they are doing this out of an abundance of caution.”
The bombs themselves did little damage, partially because they had to be small enough to elude detection, according to security experts. Packages exploded at the Swiss and Russian embassies Tuesday but caused no injuries. The rest were either detonated by authorities or caught on fire instead of exploding. Embassies and public offices around Europe have tightened security as a result of the mail bomb campaign.
“Terrorism is about propaganda of the act,” says Mr. Stewart. “These guys certainly got plenty of propaganda mileage out of all this and caused disruptions.”
Greek police apprehended two suspects, Panagiotis Argyros and Gerasimos Tsakalos, on Monday at a courier company in the Athens neighborhood of Pangrati. Both faced a public prosecutor in Athens yesterday under heavy armed guard. Mr. Argyros is a suspected member of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, or SPF, a Greek anarchist group.
Experts say that SPF is the most likely organization behind the attacks. Brady Kiesling, a former American diplomat and Greek terrorism expert, suspects the conspirators may have used courier bombs for reasons other than simple logistics. “Courier work is a common part-time or day job for these anarchists,” says Mr. Kiesling. “They don’t like their bosses and would like to see them embarrassed.”
Greek terrorists accused of bomb attacks – Washington Post
Last Updated on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 11:28 Written by admin Tuesday, 2 November 2010 11:28
ATHENS – Greek terrorists are suspected of unleashing an unprecedented two-day wave of mail bombings targeting embassies in Athens, international organizations and foreign leaders, with devices exploding Tuesday at the Russian and Swiss embassies and German authorities destroying a bomb sent to Chancellor Angela Merkel.
By Tuesday evening, at least 11 mail bombs had been detected in the Greek capital – one addressed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and eight to the embassies of Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia and Switzerland.
Two more were destroyed in controlled explosions at the Athens airport – one addressed to the European Union’s highest court, in Luxembourg, and the other to law enforcement agency Europol in the Netherlands.
If it is confirmed that domestic Greek terrorist groups are responsible for the attacks, it would mark a dramatic escalation for organizations that have never attempted to strike targets abroad. Security at all embassies in Athens has been increased.
The campaign used small devices that caused one injury and minimal damage. But it highlights the difficulty of keeping bombs out of the international delivery system – also a target of Yemen-based militants armed with more powerful explosives.
It was unclear whether the bomb sent to Germany was delivered by land or air. If sent by air, it would highlight the potential limitations of air cargo security that remain, despite the concern triggered by the mail bombs dispatched recently from Yemen.
“If they have been flown, then it rather begs the question whether European freight air security is up to muster at all,” said Chris Yates, an aviation security consultant based in Britain.
But transportation industry officials also said there are few if any security checks on packages transported within the European Union by road or rail.
“Once they’re in Europe, the goods are free to move around,” said Robert Windsor, manager of trade services at the British International Freight Association.
- Associated Press
Nicholas Paphitis contributed to this report.