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The German government and IMF were both targeted with letter bombs this week

REUTERS/Yves Herman
Wolfgang Schaueble and IMF chief Christine Lagarde talk EU bailouts in 2015.
By Jill Petzinger
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

An employee suffered burns to her face and arms after a booby-trapped letter exploded at the International Monetary Fund’s Paris office on Thursday. The incident happened one day after a parcel containing explosives was mailed to the head of the German finance ministry, Wolfgang Schaüble, in Berlin.

The parcel addressed to Schäuble, which was intercepted in the finance ministry’s mail department and neutralized on Wednesday morning, would have caused “severe injuries,” the police said. It was sent from a post office in Athens, with the sender marked as Adonis Georgiadis, vice president of the New Democracy party. However, Greek militant group Conspiracy of Fire Cells claimed responsibility for it on Thursday.

“We still have the rage. We sent the package to Germany’s finance minister as part of the second act of Nemesis Plan,” the group said in an internet statement. It didn’t explain what the Nemesis Plan was.

Conspiracy of Fire Cells was behind a number of parcel bombs sent to foreign embassies in Athens in 2010 and has grown more active in recent years. 

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the IMF letter bomb, but both the IMF and Schäuble—a key voice in EU finance discussions about Greece—are the focus of hate for many Greeks, who have suffered through years of austerity measures handed down by their creditors as part of bailout conditions.

With Greece’s economic problems flaring up again, the IMF and EU have spent months wrangling over the country’s latest debt-relief plan. The IMF threatened not to contribute any more to the program if Greece didn’t restructure its massive debts, which it estimates will hit 275% of GDP by 2060, something Germany was loath to go along with as it shoulders a large chunk of debt relief. Euro zone finance ministers meet on next steps for Greece on March 20 (paywall.)

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