Bombings in Greece

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Two bombs exploded in Greece in the last 24 hours. Two people were injured. Anchor Marco Werman speaks with the BBC's Malcolm Brabant to find out if there's a connection to the country's economic crisis.

MARCO WERMAN: I'm Marco Werman. This is The World. Two bomb blasts have rattled Greece in the last 24 hours. One bomb went off last night at a jail in Athens. A woman was injured by flying glass. The other blast was inside a courthouse in northern Greece. A man was injured there. The BBC's Malcolm Brabant is in Athens. Are these blasts at all connected, Malcolm, to the massive economic crisis in Greece at the moment?

MALCOLM BRABANT: Well the people who carried out these blasts have not yet claimed responsibility but he assumption is they are left wing guerilla groups and terrorism experts believe they are attacking the state and the state symbols because of the austerity measures here.

WERMAN: And is that an assumption or do these terrorism experts have some solid evidence to believe that these somehow are connected?

BRABANT: Well because there is a long history, really, of Greek domestic terrorism and they, the people here, have seen the way in which the people responsible for these attacks have written their manifestos and made their claims in the past. Most of them have been anti-capitalists and so it's a fair assumption to make that these bomb blasts are to do with the austerity measures because certainly those people on the left anyway, are extremely unhappy about the austerity measures. They blame international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund, and everywhere you go in Athens and elsewhere in the country, there are protests against the capitalists, the Plutarch, the rich and the powerful, so it's a fair assumption.

WERMAN: These events must have prompted heightened security in Athens at least, what's the level of tension in the city right now?

BRABANT: As far as heightened security is concerned, I don't think so to be perfectly frank because Greeks are already quite used to these sort of explosions. And this is a country which is much misunderstood abroad. People think that this place is almost in a state of civil war, it's certainly not. These, just to give you an example of what happened in northern Greece with the bombing - - . The people in the court building there didn't evacuate it because they were getting bomb threats every Friday because people wanted to disrupt the court proceedings so that they could get the court cases delayed. So that's why they were in the building at the time. This country is not like Afghanistan or Iraq, it's perfectly normal and these bombs, what they're doing actually is they're having a really bad effect on tourism because people are being scared away. It's so bad that the tourist industry is extremely worried about the image the country is having abroad it has set up a crisis committee to try to sort of correct things because they need to have tourists coming in if they're going to meet their economic target. So that really is the most important implication of these bombs rather than the damage and the slight injuries that they have caused.

WERMAN: Now Malcolm, the other news out of Greece today is that Greek authorities have started naming and shaming tax evaders as part of the effort to balance the government's budget. How is that scarlet letter exercise going?

BRABANT: Never a dull day here to be perfectly honest. What they're doing, effectively, is they are really locking onto the public mood at the moment which is almost like a lynch mob because ordinary working people are having to pay the price for these austerity measures and they are on fixed salaries, they have tax deducted at source from their incomes, they pay their bills, they play by the rules and they have been screaming, ordinary people, for the rich and powerful to be punished So the authorities have done a pretty populous trick in the view of many people in that they have named and shamed these people, 57 people all together, doctors, and it's really going to terrify those people I think who know that they have done wrong. Because what the government is also said is that it will seize bank accounts and it believes, actually if it seizes bank accounts belonging to people who have cheated the state, that it ca probably collect around about 40 billion dollars, which is a tenth of the national debt.

WERMAN: The BBC's Malcolm Brabant in Athens, appreciate your time indeed, thanks.

BRABANT: Thanks a lot.