Greece has one of the most sustained problems of political terrorism anywhere in the world. From the mid-1970s to the present, the country's political and socio-economic institutions have been confronted by systematic terrorist violence mainly at the hands of revolutionary guerrilla groups.
The long story of Greek terrorism was thought to have ended in the summer of 2002 with the collapse of the country's premier terrorist group and one of Europe's longest-running gangs, the notorious Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N). 17N's dismantling and imprisonment, rather than demoralizing and emasculating the country's armed struggle movement, led instead to the emergence of new urban guerrilla groups and an increase and intensification of revolutionary violence.
In consequence, the article places Greek extremist violence in a broader political and cultural perspective and explains why it has become a permanent fixture of national public life.