ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A bomb exploded outside the local office of an extreme right-wing party in an industrial town west of Athens early Tuesday, causing significant damage to the building but no injuries.
The explosion, caused by a home-made explosive device that appeared to contain dynamite, occurred before dawn at the Golden Dawn party’s office in the town of Aspropyrgos, authorities said. The blast caused significant damage to a shop on the ground floor of the building and to the party offices on the first floor. It also blew out windows of several nearby stores.
Golden Dawn, a formerly fringe party with a deeply nationalist agenda that advocates expelling all immigrants from Greece, rose to prominence in recent elections amid the country’s deep economic crisis to win 18 seats in the 300-member parliament.
The party denies accusations that it is behind a wave of violent attacks against immigrants. It has also been accused of demanding lists of foreign children who attend daycare or kindergarten schools, and of pressuring local businesses to fire foreign workers and hire Greeks instead.
The socialist party, one of the three parties in the governing coalition, has been calling recently for Golden Dawn to be outlawed.
Buffeted by a financial crisis that has left a quarter of the workforce unemployed and the country facing a sixth year of a deep recession, Greek society has grown increasingly polarized. Clashes between alleged Golden Dawn party members or supporters and far left-wing groups have occurred in recent months in Athens.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.