Following a series of armed attacks on police officers in Athens the Greek ministry of law and order is seriously considering plans to station snipers around the capital's police stations and other possible targets according to Greek daily, Kathimerini.
Last week a newly formed group calling itself the Revolutionary Sect claimed responsibility for machine gun attack on the station in the Athens suburb of Korydallou in which a grenade was also thrown which failed to explode. In the declaration left as a CD on the grave of Alexis Grigoropoulos, the 15 year - old shot by police in December the group stated that "a cop's life is the cost of a bullet" and that as well as high ranking police officials, members of the government and media would be considered targets.
The attack was the third in since the riots and protests that swept Greece in December and a variety of far left groups have claimed responsibility. The most serious incident resulted in one officer being seriously wounded as he was standing guard outside a government building in central Athens in January.
The government is also considering the possibility of asking for help from British police in order to combat a rising tide of anti-government violence. Scotland Yard was previously consulted during attempts to capture members of the 17th November terrorist group following their assassination of Stephen Saunders, the British military attache in Athens in 2000. The 19 members of the group were eventually arrested in 2002.
However, questions remain over the effectiveness of deploying members of the police anti-terrorist unit, EKAM. Although the organisation was widely praised for its working during the 2004 summer Olympics the force has had a checkered operational history which has seen a number of embarrassing failures such as the botched hostage rescue attempt in Athens,1998 which led to the death of a hostage and a failed operation to recapture escaped armed robber, Kostas Passaras in 2001.
Over the last two months police stations across Greece have also seen dozens of arson attacks as well a being the target of small improvised explosive devices known locally as "gazakia" since they utlilise small camping gas canisters.