Τετάρτη, 22 Ιανουαρίου 2014

A terrorist on the loose

One of Greece's most notorious terrorists and member of the armed guerrilla group 17 November, Christodoulos Xiros, disappeared on January 6th while on a holiday prison furlough.  The resulting countrywide manhunt for the fugitive who was serving six life sentences has produced nothing but his car, causing widespread concern in the Samaras government.

Certainly, one can not help but wonder how the Greek prison system can grant leave to members of terrorist organizations who have been convicted of multiple murders, especially one like Xiros who was allowed to return to his residence in Halkidiki, a place not far from Greece's northern border that would make it easy to flee abroad.

This week, Christodoulos Xiros, in Osama Bin Laden style, posted a video and memorandum on the electronic website Indymedia  threatening a major armed attack against the Greek government, accusing it of treason for ruining the country with its incessant austerity measures. In the video, Xiros appears amongst a backdrop of posters depicting numerous heroes of Greece's war of independence such as Georgios Karaiskakis, Theodoros Kolokotronis and Aris Velouchiotis as well as that of Che Guevara.

There were reports that the anti-terrorist squad had identified an Internet café in the  Kessariani district of Athens from which they believe Xiros' sent his message, parts of which read as follows:

"...First of all, democracy died long ago and its distortion has been so blatantly fascist that its remnants are bound by the thorns of the swastika.

Do not pretend the heroes and the saviors while you are murdering the youth for 1.40 euro and you do not care less.

Do not pretend to us, you mass media traitors, slaves of the lenders, collaborators of the Fourth Reich.

It is natural that my exit has caused panic and terror to you and to those you serve! But not to the society and the people!

You are on the other side, you tools of those who destroyed us.

We will not be fooled anymore.

Nothing will save you, neither the Dachau you are planning nor the armies of mercenaries.  Whatever you do, very soon the river's wrath will flare up and drown you!

And be warned!

Now, at the last moment, instead of shouting hysterically, instead of preparing tougher laws and harsher repression that shows the measure of your democracy, you better prepare yourselves because the reign is over and you have not noticed!

We do not want your benefits, hold them to give to your pimps!

We want our rights and we will win them with a gun in our hands.  We ask no favors from anyone and especially not of you the slaves..."</blockquote>

Xiros' note may have targeted the authorities, but his video was addressed to the Greek citizens, to a public that is suffocating under the relentless austerity demands of the troika that have resulted in a Greek economy that has shrunk by 25 percent since the onset of the crisis and in an unemployment rate that has reached an astounding 27.5 percent.  

Xiros was speaking directly to the 40,000 Greeks who wait in line to be fed in the country's soup kitchens daily, to the countless destitute who have committed suicide and to the many with no other choice but to send their children abroad in hope of a better future. 

Given the circumstances, Christodoulos Xiros is becoming particularly dangerous as he is not simply spewing extremist, left-wing nonsense but, rather, tugging directly at the heart of a wounded Greek nation that has come very close to erupting on many occasions. While he is on the loose, the authorities had better be particularly mindful of his rhetoric and, when and if he is apprehended, they must put a stop to the granting of 'vacations' to deadly terrorists.

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