Monday, 20 January 2014

Terrorist resurfaces with call to arms against austerity

Convicted Greek terrorist Christodoulos Xiros has called for a new armed struggle against Greece's austerity policies.

"I have decided once again to thunder with the guerrilla rifle against those who stole our lives and sold dreams for profit," he writes in a proclamation dated January 14, but issued today on indymedia, an omnibus website for left wing activists and anarchists. An accompanying video sets him against portraits of Greek infantry captains who led the nationalist revolution against the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century.

The 58 year-old Xiros went missing on January 9 when he failed to report to authorities during a furlough from his prison sentence. He was one of the key hit-men for 17 November, Greece's deadliest and longest-running terrorist organisation (1975-2002). He was convicted in 2003 for participating in five murders.

Whereas 17N's action had almost exclusively targeted US diplomats and Greeks, Xiros apportions particular blame to Germany for Greece's present predicament.

"Just as in 1941 [the Nazis] forced us to finance the occupation with forced loans etc., we are now financing the Fourth Reich with slashed salaries and pensions."

Greece was forced to lend Nazi Germany an estimated 228 million dollars through two central bank loans during the height of the Nazi occupation, in 1943. Some mainstream politicians have called upon Germany to repay those loans, reducing the Greek debt.

This is not the first time a 17N member has been critical of Germany. Xiros' brother, Savvas, was one of two members of 17 November who fired a rocket-propelled grenade into the home of then German ambassador Karl Kuhna in February 1999. It was the only high-profile attack on a German diplomat in decades, and came in response to Germany's participation in the NATO bombardment of Serbia - Germany's first offensive military action since World War Two.

Christodoulos Xiros' escape comes as an embarrassment to Greece, which this month assumed the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. Although the presidency is a largely administrative job of of co-ordinating European ministers in legislative work, it carries great prestige.

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