A video shows the moment that a strong bomb detonated on the grounds of Skai television in Neo Faliro, at 2.40 a.m. on Monday morning, causing serious damage to the building though no injuries.
Staff evacuated the premises after anonymous callers phoned in warnings to other media at 2 a.m.
The explosive device had been placed in a backpack andleft on the sidewalk outside the premises of Skai which also house the Kathimerini newspaper.
The force of the explosion blew out windows as high as the fififth floor of the building.
“They wanted to hurt democracy and possibly take human lives,” Deputy Citizens’ Protection Minister Katerina Papakosta said.
She was echoed by the president of the Athens Union of Journalists, ESIEA, Maria Antoniadou, who described the hit as “an attack on information, on democracy.”
Tsipras: An attack by cowardly and dark forces against democracy itself
Commenting on the bomb explosion outside SKAI TV, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras referred to “an attack by cowardly and dark forces against democracy itself.”
“However, they will not achieve their goal, neither to terrorize nor to disorientate,” he added.
The bomb outside private SKAI TV caused extensive damage but no injuries. Specifically, the blast shattered windows and damaged the front of the building.
Police immediately evacuated the building and cordonned off the area.
According to the TV station, the bomb was placed in the building. However, police said to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) that the explosive mechanism was inside a bag placed outside the building – more specifically, on a pavement opposite the entrance to the premises, at a distance of about seven metres.
Police said the blast occurred at 2:35 a.m. outside the broadcaster’s headquarters in Athens after a telephone warning to Zougla news website and ANT1 TV.
Media Min Pappas condemns attack against SKAI TV
“I think that the absolute condemnation is self-evident. And this means that this abhorrent act should not become a political confrontation,” Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media Nikos Pappas said on Monday in statements to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency’s (ANA) radio station ‘Praktoreio 104.9 FM’ regarding the bomb explosion outside SKAI TV.
“What they were seeking was to see their act become the subject of political controversy, debate and disagreement. These practices must be condemned and marginalised. I think this is the right attitude for the entire political world and the attitude that all Greeks would like to see the parties adopt,” he said.
“I think that the democratic political world has the reflexes it needs to put these practices at the margins of the political life. This will be the absolute blow to those who choose to move in this way,” he added.
Pappas stressed that “any attack, even against an illegal channel, would be totally condemned.”
Democracy and pluralism are not silenced, ND’s leader Mitsotakis says
“Democracy and pluralism are not silenced,” main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on the attack against SKAI TV early on Monday.
Mitsotakis blamed the attack on the “toxic climate” being created by the government and made a call to tone down and let the authorities do their job.
He added that when violence is divided into “good” and “bad”, this is result we have.
The leader of the main opposition called on everyone to assume responsibilities and stop polarization that hurts democracy.
AMNA / eKathimerini