Europe

Greek extremist Christodoulos Xiros threatens government

Screen grab of Christodoulos Xiros making an internet statement Image copyright AP
Image caption Xiros appears in his video in front of images of Che Guevara, two heroes of Greece's revolutionary war against Turkey and a Greek civil war Communist guerrilla leader

A Greek fugitive who disappeared while on prison leave has threatened the government with armed action, accusing it of ruining the country with austerity measures.

Christodoulos Xiros, who was convicted in 2003 of belonging to the far-left November 17 organisation, has vowed to return to arms.

He was serving six life sentences for bombings and shootings.

He vanished in January while on leave from prison to visit his family.

In a video posted on the internet, Xiros said: "I've decided to fire the guerrilla shotgun against those who stole our lives and sold our dreams for profit."

He criticises the media, the judiciary, the police and the extreme right-wing Golden Dawn party, and invites Greece's security forces to join with him.

He also condemns the two parties in Greece's governing coalition, the conservative New Democracy and the socialist Pasok, accusing them of treason and stating that the "price of their treason is death".

November 17 emerged in the mid-1970s and claimed responsibility for a series of deadly attacks against foreign diplomats and Greek politicians and businessmen over nearly three decades, killing at least 23 people.

The group was named after a student uprising against Greece's US-backed military junta in 1973, and mixed Marxist ideology with nationalism.

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