The anti-authority group Rouvikonas’ direct threat against main opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis constitutes a provocative and dangerous threat to democracy, and has triggered a political and broader backlash.
“Whatever we have to say to Mitsotakis, we will say close up, and soon,” a leading member of Rouvikonas said in a post on his Facebook wall.
The said individual had made two similarly threatening posts in the last 10 days. “Now, the nightmare begins for the municipal authority. The rest will unfold on the ground,” he wrote about Tinos Mayor Yannis Siotos.
The mayor had filed a lawsuit against individuals who had conducted a foray into the island’s City Hall.
The other provocative post read thusly: “An appeal was filed. Our comrades will be tried again. The message has been receive and will be answered.”
That threat was posted just three hours before the attack on the Council of State building on downtown Athens’ Panepistimiou Street, on 21 May.
The photographs of the attack on the High Court were carried in the international press, marring the country’s image once again.
The direct threat against a political figure, however, and especially against the leader of the main opposition party, has been viewed by everyone as the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Essentially, the anti-authority group is threatening Kyriakos Mitsotakis with actions that no one can predict.
New Democracy’s leader was directly targeted by Rouvikonas after his statement regarding the attack of dozens of helmeted individuals on the Council of State.
“Neither the country, nor the judiciary, nor the citizenry can be allowed to fall prey to any Rouvikonas, or other groups, with which the government, of course, is familiar,” Mitsotakis said.
The answer came with threats and invective: “Mitsotakis made a televised national address about us. This is the extreme-right, neo-liberal hybrid New Democracy at its best (…).”
The same Rouvikonas member, celebrating that “the ground floor of the Council of State was leveled”, dedicated a post to the country’s Court of Cassation. “Do you think that with arrests, prosecution, and perhaps jail sentences you will thwart us? You are deluding yourselves, gentlemen.”
After the most recent events, New Democracy cadres underlined that: “Rouvikonas has crossed the Rubicon. It is inconceivable that the leader of the main opposition is being verbally abused and threatened. The same stands true for any other politician or simple citizen who wishes to live in a state with the rule of law.”
It should be noted that during parliamentary debate on Wednesday, the prime minister in his initial remarks did not mention or condemn the threats against Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Hours later, when he spoke again, the PM said, addressing Mitsotakis: “I want to condemn, in the most categorical manner, the threats that you received via the internet from a self-styled anarchist and member of Rouvikonas.”
He hastened to add that, “They are equally condemnable as the countless threats that I and (Foreign Minister Nikos) Kotzias have received, in letters and messages and packages that contained bullets in the recent period.”
At the same time, despite the strong backlash against its actions, the anarchist group, via Facebook, where their threatening posts come one after another, announced its desire to recruit new members.
“Become organised through Rouvikonas” was the title of the call from leading members of the group in an occupied building (owned by the EFKA social insurance foundation) in the Exarheia neighbourhood.
“Contact with the group every Monday 16:00-20:00 in Exarheia Square”.
In the raid on the Council of State building, last Monday afternoon, when a plenary session of the court was debating Yorgos Katrougalos’ insurance law, which will cut pensions, Rouvikonas did not act alone.
It was proven that they mobilised along with three other anarchist groups, in order to smash the windows of the building and throw black paint on the façade. “We are satisfied that with our meagre forces, we became, even for a moment, the voice of the elderly. You haven’t seen anything yet,” they declared.