Review Hari Stefanatos
At 05:55 a car that was parked on the right side of Amerikis street, where the Bank of Greece and the Greek National Council for Radio and Television are located, exploded with a deafening noise. On the left side of the same street are the offices of the Piraeus Bank, an exit of Attica shopping center and the theater “Aliki”.
The parking on this street is strictly prohibited and the area is among the most guarded in Athens due to the offices of organizations and businesses located there.
Great damage appears to have been caused to the building of the Bank of Greece, while the surrounding buildings have also sustained significant damage to a 500 meters radius.
The area is reminiscent of war with the streets empty and debris scattered everywhere.
The greek anti-terrorist unit is already examining the area collecting evidence in an attempt to figure out how the perpetrators have acted.
According to sources, an eyewitness saw the two men, both of which had their faces covered, parking the car outside the building of the Bank of Greece and then fleeing the spot on a motorbike.
A few minutes later two phone calls were made, to the website zougla.gr and the Journal of Editors, to announce the attack. They gave a 45 minute time period before the bomb exploded. The police acted fast sealing off the area, while a stolen NISSAN SUNNY was spotted parked on the street and later exploded.
No organisation has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
“The apparent aim of the perpetrators is to change the agenda. We will not allow the terrorists to achieve their goal”, government Spokesperson, Simos Kedikoglou said on SKAI television.
The international mass media comment on the attack
The international mass media commented on the attack focusing on Merkel’s visit and the country’s first foray to the international bond markets.
“A car bomb exploded outside a central bank building in Athens early on Thursday, smashing windows but causing no injuries, just hours before Greece was due to make its first foray into the international bond markets in four years …a day before a planned visit to Athens by German Chancellor Angela Merkel”.
The AFP reported that the car exploded with no injuries, only extensive damage to buildings, noting that near the point of explosion is the office of the resident representative of the IMF in Athens. AFP’s report also states that the incident took place “on the eve of Merkel’s visit, head of the government, which played a key role in ensuring Greece remained in the eurozone”.
The Associated Press in turn pointed out that large explosion occurred in the largest commercial side of the capital and a few meters away from the Parliament building. It also mentions the two warning calls and the extensive damage, while it focused on the two major politico-economic events in Greece.
The explosion also reported by the Telegraph, the ABC News and the Wall Street Journal.
The german mass media
Particular reference to the terrorist attack was made by almost all german media, which focused on Angela Merkel’s visit in Athens and her meeting with Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras.
“A powerful car bomb explosion occurred on Thursday morning in the center of the Greek capital”, writes Spiegel.
Zeitsimeionei writes that ‘early in the morning a car bomb exploded near the building of the Bank of Greece”.
“So far it is not clear who was behind the attack, with the police estimating that may members of terrorist organizations might be responsible”, it adds, concluding that “Friday is the planned visit by the German chancellor in Athens, who will meet with the Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras”.
In a similar fashion is the publication of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which describes both the fact of the explosion, and the timing at which the incident occurred, meaning the expected foray of the country to the international markets and Merkel’s visit.
“One day before Merkel’s visit to Athens , the explosion of a car bomb in Athens came to cast shadows”, writes Handelsblatt.
(Source Protothema, Naftemporiki, Ethnos; photo:Protothema)