A makeshift time bomb exploded outside the home of a prominent Greek ship owner in a historic area of central Athens on Wednesday (March 27th), shattering windows and causing other damage but no injuries according to police officials.

A newspaper received a warning call about half an hour before the explosion at the house near the Acropolis of 50-year-old Nikos Tsakos, the chairman of tanker operator Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd, police officials said.

Police scouring the area found parts of the device, which was placed in a plastic bag, near the entrance of the building, and some neighbouring buildings and police vehicles were also damaged, police said.

Mother and daughter Peggy and Dora Eftaksia were out walking the family dog when they heard the explosion, which they said made a very frightening sound.

Nikos Tsakos was until January a board member of the Bank of Cyprus, the biggest lender on the Mediterranean island stricken by its worst financial crisis in decades.

Minor bomb and arson attacks have increased in recent months as Greece implements deeply unpopular austerity measures in exchange for bailout funds from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund for its debt-crippled economy.

In January, two Greek anarchist groups claimed responsibility for an explosion at an Athens shopping centre that fuelled fears of rising political violence.

That incident followed a series of small homemade bomb attacks on journalists and political figures.

Presented by Adam Justice