New leftist terror in Greece: Who does it serve?

New leftist terror in Greece: Who does it serve?

In a way, everybody was expecting it. Although anonymous police sources instantly leaked information that the killings of two neo-Nazi Golden Dawn members two weeks ago in Athens were probably the work of the far-left Sect of Revolutionaries, everybody was sure that this time things were different.
Indeed, a more careful reading of the event led many of us to conclude that this “professionally executed” plan was more like the beginning of a new chapter in the world of Greek terrorism than the continuation of an old one. 

Actually, Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias prepared everybody for the turning of the new page. He openly warned last week of “the beginning of a spiral of terrorist attacks and a bloody vendetta with insecurity spreading in society.” So, the claim by a previously unknown far-leftist group, calling itself the People’s Struggling Revolutionary Powers, that it was behind the killings of the two young neo-Nazis on Nov. 16, was not a surprise. 

Equally expected was the “justification” of the act, according to the proclamation electronically sent via a digital flash disk placed in a plastic bag and left at a location in the Athens suburb of Kaisariani. The attack, according to the 18-page text, was carried out as a direct response to the murder of the Greek rapper Pavlos Fyssas two months ago by a self-confessed Golden Dawn member, as well as for the other murders and acts of violence against migrants and leftists carried out by the neo-fascists.

Who the People’s Struggling Revolutionary Powers are, nobody knows yet. And very little is given away through the digital proclamation. On the other hand, unlike similar texts by other terrorist groups who had carried out deadly attacks in Greece, this one contained very few details of the actual operation in Neo Iraklio. 

However, some more careful observers are pointing out that the text of PSRP gives away a lot regarding its political targets. Of course, on first reading, the prime target is the Golden Dawn and the governing party of New Democracy. 

“The blunt murder of Pavlos Fyssas was the blood that made the glass overflow. Within the present economic context it sounds like the start of a civil class war. The atypical invisible low-intensity civil war which was going on, has now passed to the public sphere in the most blunt manner ... The fascists of Golden Dawn were, from the beginning, parallel fellow travelers and political co-fighters with New Democracy,” the PSRP proclaims. 

But, also, very little criticism was spared for the three leftist parties inside the Parliament, and especially the main opposition party of Syriza. As the commentator Stelios Kouloglou on his news website writes: “Such (terrorist) organizations, which in a way are claiming to be at the forefront of the communist movement, tend to hurl criticism against everybody, precisely in order to differentiate themselves from everybody. They utter very harsh words and dedicate whole paragraphs to the ‘treacherous’ parties of the left and their ‘sold-out’ leaderships.”

The publication of the proclamation of the purported killers of the two members of the Golden Dawn did little to clear an already overcast political atmosphere in Greece. 

Yesterday, Greeks commemorated the 40th anniversary of the historical students uprising at the Athens Polytechnic. But “Nov. 17th 1973” was also the name given to the biggest urban terrorist group active in Greece for a long time. When the anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist Marxist group was disbanded and its leaders were taken to prison in 2002, the then government assured everybody that “Greek terrorism is dead.”

More than 10 years later, with a society at breaking point after five years of austerity, this statement cannot be further from the truth. But there is a bigger question and a terrible doubt. At the present moment, with a rising leftist movement inside Parliament and a coalition government with the slimmest of majorities trying to survive by imposing even more unpopular measures, what purpose would a leftist terrorist group serve? To help the opposition, or to scare the public away from it?