Shots fired at ruling party HQ in Greece

Shots fired at ruling party HQ in Greece

A gunman fired a spray of bullets at the headquarters of Greece’s governing center-right New Democracy party near central Athens early on Monday, with one hitting an office occasionally used by the prime minister, officials said. No one was hurt.

A government spokesman said the shooting was part of an effort to “terrorize” Greek society, which is struggling through its worst financial crisis in two generations amid a drastic fall in living standards and a record rise in unemployment.

Police cordoned off the area where unknown gunman shot at least nine automatic rifle rounds at the building on the capital’s busy Syngrou Avenue, south of the city center.

No group claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn attack, which follows a renewed wave of low-scale politically
motivated violence by small anarchist and far-left militants. The belt-tightening, amid widespread disgust with an incompetent and often corrupt political establishment blamed for the country’s woes, has boosted extremists both to the left and right of the political spectrum. A fringe ultra-right group accused of fostering violent attacks on dark-skinned immigrants is represented in Parliament and regularly polls as the country's third most popular party. All political parties condemned Monday’s attack.

“No act of terrorism is going to scare us,” said Makis Voridis, a spokesman for New Democracy. “Our efforts to restore law and order ... will continue unobstructed.”