From the BBC:
A bomb blast at the offices of Greece's public order ministry in Athens has killed a close aide to the minister responsible for counter-terrorism.
Police said the victim had opened a parcel bomb.
The explosion happened only metres away from the office of the minister, Michalis Chryssohoidis, who was unhurt.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said the bombing was a terrorist attack. So far no group has said it was beind the bomb.
The blast was so powerful that some in the heavily guarded building thought it had been struck by an earthquake, the BBC's Malcolm Brabant in Athens reports.
The victim was later identified as Giorgos Vassilakis, a 50-year-old father of two.
Visibly shaken, Mr Chryssohoidis said he had "lost a valuable and beloved colleague".
"We cannot be scared and we cannot be terrorised. These cowardly murderers will be brought to justice."
The minister added that the parcel had been meant for him.
Mr Papandreou also branded the bombers "cowards", adding: "They will get the response that they deserve not only from the state but also from all of society. The terrorists will not reach their objective."
Greek terrorism expert Dr Athanasios Drougas told the BBC that the bomb was probably the work of Revolutionary Struggle, the country's most deadly active guerilla group.
In recent months police have made major breakthroughs against Revolutionary Struggle and another militant organisation, Conspiracy of Fire.
Dr Drougas said Revolutionary Struggle was sending a message that its was not defeated and was still capable of striking at the heart of the Greek government.
Revolutionary Struggle - An Overview
Revolutionary Struggle is a left-wing Greek guerilla movement that has conducted a series of attacks against the Greek government and the American embassy in Athens. The group has been described as a terrorist organization by the Greek government and the EU, as well as many mainstream media outlets.
The group first emerged in 2003 after the bombing of an Athens courthouse that injured one police officer. This was followed up by further attacks in 2004 against the Greek Labour Ministry and police buses.
A further attack was launched against the Greek Finance Ministry building in Athens on 12th December 2005. In the groups manifesto, published 10 days later, it was stated that this attack was conducted as the Ministry is “the centre from which flow the political directions and methods of adapting the Greek economy to the international reality, deciding on the way to apply to Greece the strategic directions decided informally by a supra-national elite and imposed by Europe through economic and political institutions (European Central Bank, EU Commission etc…)”.
On 22nd December 2005, the group published a manifesto in the Greek satirical magazine, To Pontiki, in which the group outlined its concerns about international capitalism and European Union mandated budget cutbacks, which have resulted in massive reductions on welfare spending in the areas of health care, education and pensions.
EU economic policy is said to “converge on the same target, the drastic reduction of state spending on the economically weaker and on social spending more generally, squeezing downwards the cost of production, the perpetual attack on labour”, the manifesto declares. Government measures to combat tax evasion are described as being exclusively focused on the poorer classes who owe taxes – “whose salaries and pensions will be confiscated” – rather than the rich.
The group outlines its concerns about wealth distribution and poverty, pointing out that 2.3 million Greek families live on only 576 euros a month. Calling for the complete overthrow of the system by revolutionary means, the group states “We will achieve the eradication of these ills only with the overthrow of the existing system in its entirety”.
The manifesto, noting the French riots of October 2005, states that “the return of the revolutionary vision to the forefront of history is the urgent precondition for the definitive exit from the vicious cycle of injustice and social disaster promised by the system of globalised capitalism and parliamentary ‘democracy’”.
The US led so-called ‘war on terror’ is also strongly denounced as a ploy to establish a global police state to control the working classes of the world, stating “It is a war without borders or territorial or national divisions, in which spies can operate unhindered and kidnap whomever they believe suspect for the security of the system”. The group notes the alleged CIA abduction of members of the Pakistani community in Greece as an example of “Greece’s obedience to the dictates of the US”.
An assassination attempt on George Voulgarakis, the Greek Culture Minister and former Public Order Minister, was also attempted by the group on May 30, 2006. Over 2 pounds of explosives were strapped to a bicycle stationed near Voulgarakis’ residence and then detonated by remote control. No injuries resulted from the explosion, but four parked cars and a school building were damaged in the attack. Revolutionary Struggle later claimed responsibility for the attack citing Greek involvement in the ‘war on terror’ and Voulgarakis’ suspected role in the illegal interrogation of Pakistani residents as justification for the bombing.
The groups most audacious attack came on January 12, 2007, when an anti-tank missile was launched at the United States embassy in Athens. The Russian made rocket, believed to have been fired from more than 300 yards away across a busy boulevard, hit the heavily guarded building on top of the U.S. seal on the embassy façade, wrecking facilities near the U.S. ambassador’s office on the third floor. Greece’s public order minister at the time, Vyron Polydoras, told Greek television that the Revolutionary Struggle group claimed responsibility for the attack in an anonymous telephone call made to a local security company.
A further two attacks were claimed by the group in a statement sent to the Greek weekly Pontiki newspaper. The statement claimed responsibility for a December 23, 2008 shooting of a riot police bus and a January 5, 2009 shooting in which one police officer was seriously wounded.
The attacks followed Greece’s worst civil unrest in decades, which was sparked off on December 6, 2008 by the fatal police shooting of an unarmed teenager in the district of Exarhia, in central Athens.
Revolutionary Struggle has warned it “could literally crush the police security, leaving unguarded the political and economic powers that be”. “The cop’s bullet fuelled a social combustion long in the making and presages far broader outbursts,” the group said.
It is widely believed that the Revolutionary Struggle group emerged from the ashes of the left-wing resistance movement 17 November, which was dealt a serious blow when key members of the organization were arrested after a failed bombing attempt on the Flying Dolphin ferry group on June 29, 2002.
Revolutionary Struggle has vowed to continue its attacks, and has called on others to form militant cells to bring about an end to the oppressive capitalist system.
And so it goes...