Greek finance minister sent bullet in the mail

ATHENS Mon Feb 4, 2013 12:00pm EST

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras is seen in his office in Syntagma square in Athens January 16, 2013 during an interview with Reuters. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras is seen in his office in Syntagma square in Athens January 16, 2013 during an interview with Reuters.

Credit: Reuters/Yannis Behrakis

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ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's finance minister was sent a bullet and a death threat from a group protesting home foreclosures, police officials said on Monday, in the latest incident to raise fears of growing political violence.

The package was sent by a little-known group called "Cretan Revolution", which warned the minister against any efforts to seize homes and evict homeowners, police sources said. The group sent similar letters to tax offices in Crete last week.

Yannis Stournaras, a respected economist who became finance minister in June, has angered many Greeks by championing austerity policies demanded by the European Union and International Monetary Fund as the price for bailout aid.

There have been a spate of small attacks in recent weeks in Greece, including makeshift bomb explosions outside the homes of journalists and political figures as well as shots fired at an office used by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

Those attacks were followed by a bomb explosion at an Athens shopping mall last month which wounded two people and stoked fears that Greece could be headed for a new bout of leftist violence amid its worst economic crisis since World War II.

Some of the attacks were claimed by leftist groups protesting capitalism and police raids against squats in the centre of Athens.

(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas and Renee Maltezou; Writing by Deepa Babington; Editing by Oliver Holmes)

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