By NIKI KITSANTONISMAY 25, 2017
The New York Times
ATHENS — A bomb exploded on Thursday in a car carrying Lucas Papademos, a former prime minister of Greece, through central Athens, the police said. Mr. Papademos, 69, was injured in the explosion, along with the driver and another person in the car.
A government spokesman, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, said Thursday evening that the three were in “stable condition, are conscious and are undergoing all the necessary medical tests.”
The blast occurred around 6:30 p.m. while the car was moving, Theodoros Chronopoulos, a spokesman for the police, said. He said the driver and the other passenger were employees of the Bank of Greece, the country’s central bank.
A police official said the explosion happened when Mr. Papademos opened an envelope and it detonated in his hands.
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There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
It was not clear whether the bomb had any connection to a cluster of parcel bombs this year. In March, parcel bombs were sent from Greece to the offices of the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, and to the International Monetary Fund’s offices in Paris, and eight similar bombs were intercepted by Greek counterterrorism officers. The bomb sent to Paris went off, injuring a worker; the others did not.
A Greek guerrilla group called the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire claimed responsibility for the bomb sent to Mr. Schäuble.
The Greek authorities declined to speculate on Thursday about who was behind the latest bombing. “It is too early to draw any parallels,” Mr. Chronopoulos said.
Mr. Papademos is an economist and a former vice president of the European Central Bank. He served as a caretaker prime minister for six months in 2011 and 2012, at the peak of the country’s sovereign debt crisis, a tumultuous time with intense street protests against the severe austerity that Greece’s international creditors forced the government to impose.
Greek news reports said the explosion had injured Mr. Papademos’s hands, legs and abdomen. Mr. Chronopoulos said that he was out of danger and that the injuries to the other two men were fairly minor.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who was in Brussels for a NATO summit meeting, condemned the attack on Twitter. A close aide of Mr. Tsipras, Nikos Pappas, the minister of digital policy, said in a statement, “Actions like this are an insult to democracy.”
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the leader of the main conservative opposition party, New Democracy, referred to “ruthless terrorists” who are “the enemies of our country and democracy” on Greek television. And Stavros Theodorakis, the leader of the smaller Potami party, said, “Citizens and politicians should reflect on who’s arming these murderers.”