Title photo: ethnos.gr
Improvised explosive devices made from small gas cylinders exploded almost simultaneously outside the houses of famous Greek journalists last night.
The attacks took place in the neighbourhoods and suburbs of Alimos, Agia Paraskevi, Lykavittos, Pendeli and Maroussi, causing damage only to the entrances of the residential buildings. The fact that the explosions happened at intervals of a few minutes strengthens the suspicion that it was an organised plan of attack.
The first explosion was registered in a residential building in the luxury Kolonaki neighbourhood at 3:40 am followed by the explosion in Agia Paraskevi at 04:10 am and two other explosions in Maroussi and Nea Pendeli five minutes later. It is worth noting that the distance between the two suburbs is not great and they can be defined as neighbouring ones. The last explosion was registered at 04:45 am at the house of a journalist who lives in the seaside suburb of Alimos. Police say that one of the two gas cylinders exploded there.
The attackers’ motives in selecting the potential targets of their attacks draw particular interest. The targets are six journalists who make different types of reports and work in different media.
Antonis Skilakos and his wife Evangelia Baltatzi are long-time journalists in different media. Antonis worked in major newspapers like "Ta Nea" and "Eleftheros Tipos" and he was also the director of Alpha TV. He has recently become the director of the Athens news agency ANA-MPA. According to some media, Skilakos took up the post in compliance with the personal preferences of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras "despite his leftist convictions".
George Ikonomeas is also known for his preference for the left side of the political spectrum. In recent years, he has hosted programmes on different private television channels whereas he is currently hosting the daily morning show of Mega TV.
Antonis Liaros was also part of the team of the particular TV channel a few months ago. The experienced host of newscasts resigned before the elections in May and June 2012 in order to run for the position of deputy with the ballot of PASOK but he did not receive enough votes to enter parliament. A week ago, he was appointed as special advisor to the "News department" of the ERT public television channel.
Petros Karsiotis is a crime reporter for ALPHA. Like all his colleagues, in addition to the cases connected with ordinary crimes, he covers the developments related to the detection of terrorist groups and their members.
The last media representative on the list is economic reporter and analyst Christos Konstas who has been the spokesman of the Privatisation Agency for several months now.
Fire trucks arrived at all the buildings where the explosions occurred, but there was no major fire anywhere. The police have not yet given any information about the identity of the attackers.
The government condemned the attacks. Its spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said that an "open terror against the media, which are vital for democracy" has been started and wondered "What is SYRIZA waiting for to renounce its pets, the hooded youths?"
For its part, the radical left also condemned the attacks. The rest of the message is more like a call to the attackers: "Once again, these desperate and dangerous practices provide an alibi for the government that follows the strategy of discord, violence and intimidation of Greek society to continue its path by limiting democracy.
An excellent example of this is today's statements of the government spokesman, who preaches discord and intolerance in a quite funny but dangerous way as he has done in recent days."
PASOK defined the attacks as "an organised plan of terrorizing." "The chain of blind violence, illegality and political instability with attacks on offices of political parties, public and university buildings, mayors and politicians, and now on journalists are an organised plan of terrorizing and must stop immediately," said the spokeswoman of the Socialists, Fofi Genimata.
The Democratic Left said that the "vicious circle of violence is reaching dangerous proportions." The left partners in the governing coalition urged all political forces in the country "to express a clear position against any expression of violence without comparisons and equivocations."
The Association of Foreign Correspondents in Greece condemned the attacks as well.