Attacks against foreign businesses, banks and politicians are on the increase in the economically ravaged country, this morning’s attack on the head office of computer giant Microsoft is just the latest incident.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning a group of armed arsonists drove a stolen truck through the front entrance of the Microsoft offices in Athens. Two people armed with pistols and machine guns kept the buildings guards at bay whilst another accomplice set fire to the truck. The gunmen forced the two security guards out of the building before starting the fire.
The vehicle is thought to have been packed full of gas canisters and cans of petrol. The ensuing fire quickly engulfed the vehicle and rapidly spread through the building.
Fortunately there were no injuries in the pre-dawn attack but Athens fire-fighters estimated that the damage caused would cost at least €60,000.
Arson attacks against banks, foreign firms and local politicians have become more frequent in Greece in recent years amid public anger against the government’s harsh austerity policies. Police said it was too early to say who was behind the latest attack.
In February, a small bomb was left on an empty subway train in Athens which a far-left group fighting the austerity measures claimed responsibility for.
At least two people wielding pistols and a machine gun kept security guards away as they carried out the attack at about 3.45am, police said.
Microsoft said it would shut its office in the city while it assessed the damage.
“Staff were told not to come to work today, and probably also tomorrow,” the company’s spokeswoman Lia Komninou said on Skai TV.
The attack has set anti-terror police on alert as forensic teams examine the van trying to get a clue about the assailants. This latest incident is another sign of the growing confidence of political militants in the country.
Tomorrow’s meeting of EU leaders in Brussels will be attended by members of the new Greek government led by Antonis Samaras is hoping to negotiate the terms of the country’s bailout which many Greeks believe is the cause of the difficulties that the nation is facing.
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