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Published: Friday December 13, 2013 MYT 6:20:58 PM
Updated: Friday December 13, 2013 MYT 6:21:58 PM

Greek police investigate arson attack at former PM's seaside house

Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis (R) and Foreign Minister George Papandreou address journalists outside the presidential palace in Athens February 12, 2004, over developments on talks over Cyprus. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis (R) and Foreign Minister George Papandreou address journalists outside the presidential palace in Athens February 12, 2004, over developments on talks over Cyprus. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police were investigating an arson attack on former Prime Minister Costas Simitis's holiday house outside the capital Athens on Friday that caused damage but hurt no one.

An incendiary device started a fire in the living room and kitchen at the house in Agioi Theodoroi, which was empty when the attack took place, police said. Simitis lives in Athens.

"There were remnants of a battery, a switch and a container of a flammable liquid," a police official, who declined to be named, told Reuters. "There was no one in the house when the fire broke out."

There was no claim of responsibility.

Simitis led the socialist PASOK party and was prime minister from 1996 to 2004, taking Greece into the euro zone. A spokesman for Simitis was not immediately available to comment.

Greece is in its sixth year of deep recession that has fuelled anger against foreign lenders and the political class, blamed by Greeks for bringing the country close to bankruptcy.

Several small scale attacks in the last few years included two in January when unidentified attackers opened fire on the Athens headquarters of the governing New Democracy party and, separately, a makeshift petrol bomb was thrown at the home of the government spokesman's brother.

In October, hooded assailants doused the office of Greece's merchant marine minister with gasoline.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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