FM Kotzias received threatening letter, Citizen Protection Min Toskas says

Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has received an anonymous letter containing the message “We have three bullets for you,” Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas revealed on Friday in statements to the private broadcaster ANT1. He said the letter arrived on Thursday and was being investigated by police.

Toskas underlined that phenomena such as this letter were unacceptable and called on all the political forces to condemn such acts. The minister added that a strong police force will be at Sunday’s rally in Athens over the FYROM name issue.

In later statements to the public broadcaster ERT, Toskas again noted that “now was the time for extremist actions to be condemned.”

“We have to say that, unfortunately, there are people that have crossed the line so that these people can be separated from the social whole and those wishing to express themselves peacefully can do so,” he added.

He revealed that letters had been also sent to other ministries “and we will have to look into it.”

“It is everyone’s shared view, both the government’s but also I believe of the people intending to take part in the protest, that there should be an expression of their opinion but within a general climate of calm and respect for the democratic system,” Toskas said. The government was not afraid of possible violence at the Sunday’s rally, he added, but had taken all necessary measures to guard against it.

“We have an obligation to take measures, we have an obligation to condemn extremist actions…we must set the boundaries between legality and extremist expressions, in the same way that we condemn far- right views and expressions,” he noted.

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) strongly condemned the threats against Nikos Kotzias.

In a statement, the party’s press office stressed that “unlike for others, it has always been self-evident that New Democracy strongly condemns violence, wherever it may come from.” This obviously also applied to the threats against the foreign minister, the party added.

“As for rest, Greek citizens are well aware who is tolerant toward violence and, more importantly, who continues to divide the Greeks,” the ND announcement concluded.